- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on a National Transportation Safety Board determination about the causes of a fatal 2015 sightseeing flight in Alaska (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

A company that bought the assets of an Alaska flying service after a fatal 2015 crash says it’s following a rigorous safety protocol.

Taquan (TAH-kwan) Air purchased the assets of Promech Air Inc. in 2016, after the crash near Ketchikan that killed a pilot and eight passengers on a sightseeing flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined Tuesday that the pilot’s decision to fly using visual flight rules when conditions called for instrument rules was a cause of the crash.

The board also said Promech’s culture and lack of a formal safety program were behind the crash.

Taquan says it strives to exceed established safety requirements with intensive training, a company culture centered on safety and other measures.

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11:40 a.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board says a pilot’s decision to fly using visual flight rules when conditions called for instrument rules was a cause of a fatal crash of a sightseeing flight in Alaska.

The board says the airplane company’s culture and lack of a formal safety program also were behind the crash that killed nine people two years ago near Ketchikan, Alaska.

A pilot and eight passengers died June 25, 2015, when a de Havilland Otter operated by Promech Air Inc. crashed into mountainous terrain.

The pilot had less than two months of experience flying air tours in southeast Alaska.

The NTSB says the pilot’s decisions were influenced by schedule pressure, his attempt to emulate more experienced pilots and Promech’s culture, which tacitly endorsed flying in hazardous weather.

Promech Air was sold last year to another Ketchikan company, which didn’t have an immediate response to the report.

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