August 10th, 2010
10:32 AM ET

Latest developments in Alaska plane crash

Sean O'Keefe, who resigned as NASA administrator in February 2005, survived the crash.

 [Updated at 7:28 p.m.] The latest developments in the plane crash Monday night near Dillingham, Alaska: 

NEW 

- The Alaska Department of Public Safety Tuesday released the names of
those killed and injured in the crash:

DECEASED: Former U.S. Sen. Theodore "Ted" Stevens, 86, of Anchorage, Alaska; Theron "Terry" Smith, 62, of Eagle River, Alaska (pilot); William "Bill" Phillips Sr.; Dana
Tindall, 48, of Anchorage, Alaska; Corey Tindall, 16, of Anchorage, Alaska

INJURED: William "Willy" Phillips Jr., 13; former NASA chief Sean O'Keefe, 54; Kevin O'Keefe; Jim Morhard, Alexandria, Virginia.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED, CASUALTIES

- Former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens was one of five people killed in the crash, said Mitch Rose, his former chief of staff and a family spokesman.

- Alaska's FAA office said two survivors had serious injuries and two had minor injuries, and it said the flight had departed from GCI Lodge on Lake Nerka and was headed to Dillingham.

- The four who were injured were flown to Anchorage hospitals.

- The nine people aboard the plane were headed on a fishing trip, said Matthew Felling, an anchor and reporter for television station KTVA.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED, RESCUE EFFORTS

- The crash was in a remote, hard-to-reach location, and that reaching it was further hampered by inclement weather, state police spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

- An Alaska Air National Guard HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter carrying rescue crews landed Tuesday morning and gave "medical support to the crash victims," Major Guy Hayes of the Alaska Air National Guard said in a news release.

- The Alaska Air National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard arrived at the crash site and are providing medical support to the victims, authorities in Alaska said.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED, INVESTIGATION

- The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

- Inclement weather was reported in the area at the time of the crash, the National Guard said.

- The NTSB said the plane crashed 10 miles northwest of Aleknagik, Alaska, about 8 p.m. Monday (midnight ET).

- The plane was a DeHavilland DHC-3, according to the FAA. It was registered to GCI Communications Corp., based in Anchorage, Alaska.

- The Air Force 11th Rescue Coordination Center, which is manned by Alaska National Guardsmen, was contacted by Dillingham Flight Service after "good samaritans" spotted the downed aircraft.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED, REACTION

- Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, called Stevens "a true champion of Alaska."

- "Though small of stature, Ted Stevens seemed larger than life. For he built Alaska. And stood for Alaska. And he fought for Alaskans," Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said at a news conference. "How can we summarize six decades of service?"

- "Alaska and the nation he so loved have lost a great man," Stevens' family in a statement. "We have lost a tremendous husband and father and grandfather. He loved Alaska with all his heart. He was a guiding light through statehood and the development of the 49th state. Now that light is gone but the warmth and radiance of his life and his work will shine forever in the last frontier. His legacy is the 49th star on the American flag."

- President Obama extended his condolences to the families, including that of Stevens, who flew in support of the Flying Tigers in the Pacific Theater in World War II. "A decorated World War II veteran, Senator Ted Stevens devoted his career to serving the people of Alaska and fighting for our men and women in uniform," Obama said in a written statement.

- Ralph D. Crosby Jr., chairman of EADS North America, said, "It was with a great sense of relief and gratitude that we learned that Sean, and his son, Kevin, survived the aircraft crash in Alaska. We extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those less fortunate in this terrible accident. We owe a debt of gratitude for the heroic efforts of the members of the rescue crew and others who rushed to the scene."

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Chaos

    He took a flight to nowhere.

    August 10, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Karma Bites

    Looks like the X Senator took the "flight to no where" ... just like the "bridge to no where" that he orhestrated through Congress. Karma bites hard sometimes!

    August 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. alumette

    Where was Sarah Barraccuda? that's right! she dumped that job for a better paying gig. Maybe next time.

    August 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Randall Smith

    I get so tired of hearing the "bridge to nowhere" comment. The airport there has over 15,000 operations per year. Let's suppose Speculator, NY or Miller City, IL was cut off from the rest of their respective states. I guarantee someone would build roads in and out, and they don't have nearly as important of a transportation hub in those locations.
    But, I guess that's beside the point – The news media in general is ignorant of most scientific news items, particularly when it involves aviation, so for reporters to be commenting on "flight plans", does not surprise me at all. If people knew how many airplanes fly around without filing anything with anybody, there would be panic in the streets, probably.

    August 10, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tcaros

    Good news. It sounds like karma finally caught up with the old codjer and his lies. He should have been doing prison time for his lies and criminal conduct during the Bush administrtion.

    August 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tcaros

    The only thing better would have been if it crashed into the "bridge to nowhere."

    August 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MikeBike

    My thoughts are with the families - at least they were on their way to do something they loved to do. "Alaska's heart surrounds loved ones" = Palin is incoherent, as always.

    August 10, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cass

    Good or bad politician Ted Stevens was still a human being! My sister in laws dad is usually the pilot of that plane. I don't know him but am thankful that he is currently at a family reunion with his kids and grandkids. Family reunion was obviously meant to be!!! Why do people even waste their time with negative comments? Put yourselves in the shoes of the families that just lost their loved ones and have a heart. Ted Stevens may have made some bad choices just like most of you negative people would if they were offered money for something, but he also did a lot of good for the state of Alaska...

    August 10, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. donna

    Leave it to Sarah Palin, one of the snakes who helped bring trumped up federal charges against Ted Stevens, to be among the most vocal firsts to issue her "psuedo" condolences. Does she never shut her mouth!!!!!

    Deepest condolences to the Stevens family. He was a great man who accomplished wonderful things for Alaska. He may have had some faults, but he surely did not deserve the phony charges levied against him by the Bush prosecutors. Nor did he deserve to have Sarah Palin help them go after him. Don't forget that the contractor whose testimony would have exonerated Stevens was not allowed to testify. That testimony would have prevented the guilty verdict. Was the Anchorage Daily News the only paper to publish this information. Where was CNN?

    August 10, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      You have your info wrong. That was a federal trial and a federal judge that denied the testimony. Sarah had nothing to do with it. She and Ted were good friends

      August 15, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TJ

    Rest in peace Senator Stevens. Thank you for your life-long dedication to Alaskans and to the state. Your legacy will live on and you will be remembered with great affection and respect. You sacrificed your life to making this great land even better and you fought for the rights of many. Alaska has lost the greatest leader we've ever had.

    August 10, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tobeornottobe

    It's good to hear of survivors in a situation like this. Plane crashes are usually fatal to everyone on board.
    Now if only these things didn't happen in the first place...

    August 11, 2010 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Keith Arnold

    To those who have posted negative comments, especially to those who have mentioned Karma, be careful.
    Judge not, lest thee be judged.

    August 11, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      I agree with you completely. These people die and four are injuried and these fools can only thing of karma. A 16 year old girl died for petes sake ... what kind of karma is that?

      August 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
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