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Anchorage, AK Lear Jet Crash, Dec 1978

ANN STEVENS, CLARENCE KRAMER Killed in Anchorage Jet Crash

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -A small chartered plane battling crosswinds crashed while attempting to land, seriously injuring Sen. TED STEVENS and killing his wife and four other persons, including CLARENCE KRAMER, president of Alaska Lumber and Pulp Co., Sitka. One other passenger survived.
STEVENS, the Senate's assistant Republican leader, was hospitalized in stable condition after the Lear jet crashed and split into three pieces Monday night at the Anchorage International Airport.

His 49-year-old wife of 26 years, ANN, home from Washington, D. C., for the Christmas holidays and the planned Dec. 30 wedding of their daughter, died, as did the pilot and three others.

The other survivor was TONY MOTLEY, a lobbyist for Alaskan lands legislation.

Chunks of the aircraft, owned by Inlet Marine Inc. were scattered across 100 yards of snow and ice.

The fuselage lay in blood-stained snow, its cockpit windows smashed.

There were reports that a wing fell off as the plane came in to land, but ED LILLIE, chief of the Anchorage field office of the National Transportation Safety Board, said "the investigation my people made determined that it (the plane) was all together when it hit the ground."

The International Air Line Pilots Association has given the airport a red star rating because it lacks a runway long enough to handle large aircraft when strong crosswinds are blowing.

But the pilot's group and the Federal Aviation Administration would not speculate whether the 16 mph winds from the southeast - with gusts up to 23 mph blowing across the runway - contributed to the crash.

STEVENS, R-Alaska, suffered head, neck and arm injuries, said Providence Hospital nursing supervisor YVONNE CAIRN.

Republican National Committeeman CLIFF GROH said the 55-year-old senator was conscious and recognized two of his daughters, who went to the hospital.

"I think he's going to be all right," GROH Said.

MOTLEY, chief lobbyist for Citizens for Management of Alaska Lands for former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce, was reported in satisfactory condition with a fractured collar bone and multiple bruises.

Killed in the crash were MRS. STEVENS; pilot RICHARD SYKES of Anchorage, owner of Inlet Marine and president of Tyonek Timber; co-pilot RICHARD CHURCH of Anchorage; lawyer JOE RUDD of Anchorage and CLARENCE KRAMER of Sitka, president of the pro-development group that MOTLEY represented.

The group was returning from Juneau, the state capital, where they met with Gov. JAY HAMMOND to discuss President CARTER'S decision to set aside 56 million acres of Alaskan lands as national monuments under the Antiquities Act. STEVENS also attended a brief swearing-in ceremony for HAMMOND, who last month was elected to a second four-year term.

MRS. STEVENS had returned from Washington with her husband for the Christmas holidays and the wedding of their oldest daughter, SUSAN. The couple had five children.

STEVENS, a World War II pilot with the famous Flying Tigers, has opposed CARTER'S decision as a freeze on land development. He said during debate over Alaskan lands legislation that he had dreamed of dying in a plane crash.

STEVENS travels almost entirely by plane during his trips around the vast expanses of the state. At the time, he recalled the 1972 disappearance of Rep. NICK BEGICH and House Majority Leader HALE BOGGS, D. La., during an Alaskan campaign flight between Juneau and Anchorage.

A 1935 crash near Point Barrow, Alaska, claimed the lives of humorist WILL ROGERS and aviator WILEY POST.

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article | by Dr. Radut