Congresswoman's Husband Piloted Doomed Plane

It took rescuers hours to reach crash site in Alaska where Buzzy Peltola died
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2023 8:18 AM CDT
Congresswoman's Husband Piloted Doomed Plane
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, administers the House oath of office to Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, standing next to her husband Eugene "Buzzy" Peltola Jr., center, during a ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Rep. Mary Peltola's husband, commercial pilot Eugene "Buzzy" Peltola Jr., had just dropped off a hunter in a remote area of Alaska when he took to the sky only to crash. The single-engine Piper PA-18 Super Cub he was flying crashed in mountainous terrain 64 miles northeast of the village of St. Mary's shortly after takeoff around 8:50pm Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday. Two hunters at the scene provided medical care but Peltola, 57, succumbed to injuries before an Alaska Air National Guard rescue team arrived early Wednesday, officials said, per the Anchorage Daily News.

Officials said an emergency locator transmitter was activated Tuesday evening but NTSB officials didn't receive a crash notification message until 1:20am Wednesday. Peltola's body was flown to Anchorage for an autopsy. His wife flew to Alaska from Washington, DC, on Wednesday to be with family. In a statement, President Biden said "Buzzy was a devoted public servant and in the tributes coming from all over the state today, he is being remembered as a friend to all." Peltola worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska for 34 years. He also served as regional director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Alaska, and vice mayor and council member for the city of Bethel. (More plane crash stories.)

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