KETCHIKAN, ALASKA, AUG. 12 -- A helicopter collided with a Cessna amphibious plane 500 feet over Bar Harbor today and crashed into the water, killing the two people aboard, authorities said.
The amphibious plane landed safely. Names of the two on the helicopter were not immediately available.
"The rotors of the chopper took the floats off the Cessna," Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Paul Steucke said. "The Cessna was able to land safely at the airport somehow with no injuries to the three people on board. The helicopter crashed into the water."
The accident occurred over Bar Harbor between the southeast Alaska city of Ketchikan and the city's airport, which is on an island, Steucke said.
The Cessna 185 float plane operated by Ketchikan Air Service hit a Hughes helicopter operated by Temsco Helicopters of Ketchikan, Steucke said.
Three Coast Guard rescue boats, a Coast Guard helicopter, several fishing vessels and Coast Guard rescue swimmers rushed to the crash site, Coast Guard Petty Officer Ed Moreth said. He said two bodies were recovered, and authorities believe no one else was aboard.
The two aircraft were not under FAA control, Steucke said, noting that the Ketchikan airport has no control tower, but only a flight service station in which the FAA provides advisory information to pilots. He said it is up to pilots near the airport to communicate with each other on a common radio frequency.
The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators from Seattle, and the FAA sent an investigator from Anchorage.