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NTSB: Lawmaker in plane crash flew for years despite vision problems

A crash involving two aircraft near Soldotna has resulted in the deaths of seven people, Alaska State Troopers said Friday afternoon.
A crash involving two aircraft near Soldotna has resulted in the deaths of seven people, Alaska State Troopers said Friday afternoon.(KTUU)
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 8:36 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Reports show that an Alaska lawmaker flew his plane despite being denied his medical flight certification eight years ago due to vision problems, according to documents released by NTSB.

The pilot was identified by Alaska State Troopers as 67-year-old state Rep. Gary Knopp of Kenai. Knopp’s plane collided with another plane shortly after takeoff on July 31 in Soldotna. The crash occurred around 8:30 a.m. at about 1,175 feet with clear skies.

Knopp was the only person in his plane when it crashed. The other airplane was carrying a pilot and five passengers when the crash happened. There were no survivors.

The NTSB report also goes on to say that Knopp’s plane had an invalid registration number.

While the plane had a valid number that was registered to Knopp, there was a different number on the plane’s exterior, according to the reports from NTSB. In addition, the word “EXPERIMENTAL” was posted on the lower clamshell door.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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