Nome, AK (near) Plane Crashes, July 1980


Nome, Alaska (UPI) Eight people have been killed in the crash of a twin-engine plane carrying federal officials on a tour of Alaskan native fishing villages.
Federal Aviation Administration officials said the last communication from the Cessna 402 owned by Ryan Air Service of Unalakleet, Alaska, was at takeoff Saturday afternoon from Nome. The plane was en route to Unalakleet, with several intermediate stops, when it went down on Alaska's Seward Peninsula.
The wreckage was spotted by a search plane Sunday morning on a steep bluff overlooking the ocean some 69 miles east of Nome, FAA spokesman CLIFF CERNICK said Monday.
The search plane reported a layer of thick fog near the crash site, CERNICK said. But he added National Transportation Safety Board investigators would determine the cause of the accident.
Federal officials killed in the crash were identified as:
WALTER G. JONES, 61, chief of the Alaska regional office of fisheries development for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
JACK WILBURN, 61, director for the Anchorage district office of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
JAMES RENDELL, III, 39, of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Washington, D.C.
DOREEN Y. FENG, 57, a resident of Maryland and employed by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Administration.
Also killed were:
KAY K. KOWELUK, 29, hometown unknonw, of the Alaska Native Foundation.
GARRETT S. AUKON, 30, of Nome, an employee of the non-profie branch of the Bering Straits Native Corporation.
DIANA GARDENIER, 23, of Portland, Ore., a volunteer worker at radio station KNOM of Nome.
The eighth victim was pilot LEE G. ECKELS, 35, of Unalakleet, co-owner of Ryan Air Service.

Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1980-07-15