NTSB Begins Hearing on Stevens Crash

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun a hearing this morning on the plane crash that took the life of Senator Ted Stevens and four others north of Dillingham last August.  The plane flew into a mountain.  The investigators call that “controlled flight into terrain.”  The cloud cover situation can vary dramatically in that area, but a pilot and the local airport both reported at least two miles visibility.  The pilot, Terry Smith, 62, was highly skilled and experienced.  Smith had experienced a minor stroke in the past, but little impairment was noticed by anyone.  One of the survivors of the crash characterized conditions as whiteout.  Another said visibility was good.

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