NTSB Examines Alaska Crash Site

 - August 12, 2010, 11:19 AM

NTSB investigators are at the site of Monday’s Alaska crash of a de Havilland Canada DHC-3T turboprop-conversion floatplane that killed five, including former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), and left four others seriously injured, including former NASA administrator and current EADS North America chairman Sean O’Keefe and his teenage son. The single-engine Otter, owned by Alaskan telecommunications provider GCI, was carrying the party on a fishing trip to a remote site (also owned by GCI) when it crashed into the side of a mountain approximately 15 minutes after takeoff, according to investigators. A tentative NTSB timeline shows that more than three hours passed before the aircraft was considered missing and a search launched. Stevens, 86, was the longest-serving Republican senator in history, and during his 40 years in office he was a staunch supporter of general aviation. Industry groups such as NBAA noted his passing. “Senator Stevens was tireless in promoting aviation in Alaska and throughout the United States. He understood and made sure others understood the critical role aviation plays in our nation’s economy and transportation system,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “He fought constantly to keep the United States the world leader in all aspects of aviation.”