Husband of Alaska politician killed in plane crash was collecting moose meat

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Eugene Peltola Jr, the husband of Alaska Democratic congresswoman Mary Peltola, was returning from a remote hunting camp carrying moose meat when the plane he was flying crashed, killing him, authorities said.

Peltola Jr, 57, was the only person aboard the small plane when it crashed late on Tuesday. Two hunters who were at the camp in western Alaska at the time provided medical care, authorities have said.

The chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had previously said the plane appeared to have crashed under unknown circumstances upon takeoff after Peltola dropped off a hunter and equipment about 65 miles north-east of St Mary’s in the far western part of the state.

But Austin McDaniel, a spokesperson for the Alaska state troopers, later said the plane crashed shortly after takeoff while carrying a second load of moose meat from the two hunters, who later gave Peltola medical aid.

A federal team has arrived in Alaska to begin investigating the incident, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The team was not expected to reach the crash site until Friday, weather permitting.

Peltola received his commercial pilot’s license in 2004, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) database.

Mary Peltola returned from Washington DC to Alaska on Wednesday. Last year, she became the first Alaska Native in Congress and the first woman to hold Alaska’s only US House seat, which had been held for 49 years by the Republican Don Young.

After Young’s death last year, Mary Peltola won the special election, beating Republican Sarah Palin, among others, who was seeking a political comeback in the state where she was once governor.

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