New Information Released on Stevens Crash

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

New information released Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board indicates that pilot Terry Smith was in control of a plane that crashed last year, killing him, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, and others.

The NTSB data indicates that the airplane, a DeHaviland Otter, was not “cruising at impact, but was climbing and maneuvering”.

The NTSB had investigated whether Smith’s health played a part in the crash.

Smith had been grounded by the Federal l Aviation Authority in 2006, because of a stroke that he had suffered.  Smith was piloting the DeHaviland that crashed near Dillingham on August 9, 2010. He was 62-years-old at the time.

NTSB investigators did not reach conclusions about what caused the crash in the hundreds of pages of data.  A five-member NTSB board is expected to decide officially next month if Smith’s health may have been a factor in the crash.

According to the NTSB records, Smith had a family history of strokes.  It is the job of the board to pinpoint the cause of plane crashes as to mechanical failure or human error.  Smith had been given clearance to return to piloting by the FAA.  The NTSB investigation also looked into how Smith was given medical clearance to fly.

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