Former Senator, EADS boss in Alaska Floatplane Crash

 - August 10, 2010, 12:47 PM

The NTSB this morning dispatched a go team that includes chairman Deborah Hersman to Alaska to investigate last night's crash of a de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Otter turboprop single, which was carrying former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and former NASA administrator and current EADS North America chairman Sean O'Keefe, among others. The single-engine floatplane crashed near Dillingham, more than 300 miles from Anchorage, and reports early this afternoon stated that Stevens is among the five people on board who died. The airplane was carrying nine people. A statement from EADS confirmed that O'Keefe was on board the aircraft and added that a rescue operation was under way. O'Keefe and his son, Kevin, both survived the crash, according to a family source. An Alaska National Guard spokesman said five rescuers were at the accident scene assisting the victims, but noted that weather in the area was hampering the emergency efforts. The National Weather Service reported rain and fog in the area, with limited visibility. Stevens, the longest serving Republican senator in history, was appointed to Congress in 1968. He left the legislature in 2008 following a conviction for accepting corporate gifts, which was later dropped due to legal technicalities. Ironically, Stevens survived the crash of a Learjet 25C in December 1978 in Alaska that killed five, including his first wife, Ann.