State Senator, Family Members Killed in Plane Crash

State Senator, Family Members Killed in Plane Crash

( – Every year, there are several small plane crashes that claim the lives of or seriously injure those onboard. This year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been a number of events in recent weeks. Sadly, one of those crashes involved a state senator.

On Sunday, October 1, North Dakota Senator Doug Larsen (R) was flying a single-engine Piper PA-28 when he crashed around 8:20 p.m. The legislator and three family members — his wife and two children — were flying home from Scottsdale, Arizona. He had stopped in Utah to refuel the plane, and it crashed just north of Moab shortly after taking off from the runway. All four onboard were killed.

The state’s Republican Senate Majority Leader, David Hogue, confirmed the sad news. The Senate honored him by placing a bouquet of roses on his desk in the chamber. Larsen was first elected to the position in 2020, but he has a long history of serving the country in the military. He was in the North Dakota Army National Guard for 29 years and received the Bronze Service Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Aviator Badge.

A fellow state Senator, Scott Meyer (R), remembered Larsen’s passion for flying, recalling a day when he spoke with his counterparts about working on obtaining his license and flying in general.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is looking into the circumstances surrounding the crash and began its investigation on Monday. It was planning to “document the scene, examine the aircraft, request any air traffic communications,” as well as the weather reports and radar data to try to pinpoint a cause.

The NTSB also plans to look into Larsen’s medical and flight history, in addition to the aircraft’s maintenance records. The preliminary report should be available within a few weeks, but the final report could take up to 18 months.

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