Former Senator Ted Stevens In Plane Crash That Killed Five

Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was one of nine people on board a plane that crashed in a remote area of Alaska overnight.

Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was one of nine people on board  a plane that crashed in a remote area of Alaska overnight:

Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was on board the plane that crashed Monday night in southwest Alaska. It was not immediately clear whether he survived.

Five of the nine people died in the plane crash, and rescue crews were trying to reach the wreckage early Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said.

Defense contractor EADS North America said that former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe was a passenger on the plane. O’Keefe is the current CEO of the U.S.-based division of the European company and was in charge of NASA from 2001 to 2005. His condition was unknown.

Alaska National Guard spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes said the Guard was called to the area about 20 miles north of Dillingham at about 7 p.m. Monday after a passing aircraft saw the downed plane.

State and federal officials say severe weather has hampered the rescue operation.

The plane was a single-engine otter, dating back to 1957. The NTSB said it had been retrofitted with a turboprop engine.

Commuting on such small engine planes are a norm for Alaskans. Stevens survived another similar crash on Dec. 4, 1978, when a Learjet carrying Stevens and his wife crashed at Anchorage International Airport, killing five people. Stevens’ wife Ann, was killed.

Hayes says about five good Samaritans were on scene early Tuesday helping the crash victims. He says he was told by Alaska State Troopers that there were “eight or nine” people on board, though a spokeswoman for the troopers, Megan Peters, refused to comment.

Hopefully, Stevens will turn out to be fine but the prospects don’t seem to be all that great at the moment.

FILED UNDER: Congress, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Richard Gardner says:

    Latest report is Sen Stevens perished (from KTUU in Anchorage). No word on former NASA Administrator and Secretary of the Navy Sean O’Keefe (plus Dep Director of OMB, and Comptroller of DoD). .

  2. Bill Jempty says:

    Alaska has a history of fatal plane crashes involving its politicians. Not just this crash and the 1978 one with Ted Stevens and his first wife, but one in 1972  that killed the state’s only Congressman Nick Begerich and House Majority Leader Hale Boggs. Boggs and Begerich were flying from Anchorage to Juneau. Their plane was never found.