According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the state-of-the-art emergency beacon aboard the plane carrying former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens did not go off as it should have when the tragic aviation accident happened on Monday afternoon. Rescue efforts did not begin until early that evening and survivors were forced to stay at the wreckage overnight.
The private plane, a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter , belonged to General Communications Inc., which was hosting a fishing trip for Stevens and the other passengers. The telecommunications company had registered an emergency beacon for the aircraft with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) system, but the program’s manager, Chris O’Connors, says that there is no evidence that a signal from the plane was sent to the satellites when the aircraft crashed into a mountain. The newest of the beacons are supposed to serve as emergency locator transponders that provide an accurate location of an emergency scene so that rescue efforts can start immediately.
Our Washington DC aviation accident lawyers know how tragic it is to lose someone you love in a plane crash. Although they occur less frequently than traffic crashes, aircraft accidents more often than not result in serious injuries and deaths. Aircraft malfunction, pilot error, poor weather, FAA negligence, and air traffic controller mistakes, are just some of the reasons why plane accidents happened.
In addition to Stevens, the others who died in Monday’s Alaska plane crash were GCI Senior Vice President Dana Tindall, 48, her daughter Corey, 16, former Stevens chief of staff and Washington DC lobbyist Bill Phillips, and pilot Terry Smith, 62. Those who survived the airplane crash with injuries are former NASA head Sean O’Keefe, his son Kevin, lobbyist Jim Morhard, 53, and Phillips’ son Willy, 13.
Stevens, 86, was Alaska’s US Senator for four decades. He was the Senate’s longest-serving Republican.
Plane’s emergency beacon failed in Alaska crash, USA Today, August 12, 2010
Bad weather delayed rescue in Alaska crash for 12 hours, CNN, August 10, 2010
Long, cold night for survivors after crash that killed Stevens, ADN, August 12, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Federal Aviation Administration
National Transportation Safety Board
Ted Stevens Dies at 86 (Obituary), New York Times, August 10, 2010