View of Misty Fjords National Monument from a float plane on August 1. (Molly Lubbers/KRBD).

UPDATE: Authorities have released the names of the five cruise ship visitors and pilot killed in Thursday’s floatplane crash in Misty Fjords National Monument.

The Southeast Aviation pilot was identified as 64-year-old Rolf Lanzendorfer of Cle Elum, Washington. A LinkedIn profile says he’s worked as a commercial pilot for the Ketchikan-based company for more than six years.

The five Holland America Line cruise ship passengers killed were identified as:

  • Mark Henderson, 69, of Napa, Calif.
  • Jacquelyn Komplin, 60, of Napa, Calif.
  • Andrea McArthur, 55, of Woodstock, Georgia
  • Rachel McArthur, 20, of Woodstock, Georgia
  • Janet Kroll, 77, of Mount Prospect, Illinois

The bodies of the six people were recovered on Saturday afternoon, officials said in a statement. Alaska State Troopers and members of the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad arrived at the crash site at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, the state Department of Public Safety said in a statement. It says they will be transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

ORIGINAL STORY: Poor weather was hampering Friday’s efforts to access the site of a fatal sightseeing crash in Misty Fjords National Monument, state public safety officials said. And it’s too early to say what caused the plane to crash into a mountain Thursday, killing all six on board.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s chief in Alaska, Clint Johnson, says investigators plan to spend the weekend investigating Thursday’s crash about 8 miles northeast of Ketchikan.

“We do understand that the wreckage came to rest in a very challenging, very steep, heavily wooded area,” he said. “So you know, this is not going to be probably just a one-day operation here. But everything is going to be predicated on weather and safety.”

The De Havilland Beaver operated by Southeast Aviation was carrying five cruise ship passengers from a Holland America ship and a pilot. The Coast Guard’s rescue team reached the site about three hours after receiving a distress signal and reported no survivors.

The names of the deceased have not been released. The Alaska State Troopers and Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad will be leading efforts to recover the bodies.

The investigation is slated to begin Saturday morning, Johnson said, but that is dependent on weather conditions.

“What we’re going to do is to document the active site to the best of our ability, the best we possibly can given the circumstances, before the wreckage recovery portion takes place,” he said.

Johnson says the NTSB will try to determine a probable cause of the crash. If need be, they will make recommendations to prevent further accidents. Before Thursday’s crash, at least 15 people had been killed in sightseeing crashes in the area since 2015.

This story has been updated.