Keith's 2:22 PM EDT update: According to a family source both Sean O'Keefe and his son Kevin survived the plane crash - but they are both rather banged up. In an earlier post I stated that his son Jonathan was on the plane. He was not.
5 believed dead in crash of plane carrying Stevens, O'Keefe, Anchorage Daily News
"Rescuers from the Alaska Air National Guard were able to reach the crash site by helicopter this morning and are "currently providing medical support to the crash victims at the scene. ... Hayes said five people had reached the scene overnight to help the crash victims. It was unclear how they reached the site. A second U.S. government official in Washington said Tuesday that the National Guard in Alaska reported a private medical team was dropped near the crash site by commercial helicopter Tuesday morning. Four of nine people aboard the plane survived, the official said. Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosley said the agency has a plane flying over the crash scene, scouting it to make sure it's safe for helicopters to come into the area with pararescuers."
NTSB statement on crash near Dillingham, Anchorage Daily News
"The National Transportation Safety Board has launched a Go Team to investigate last night's airplane crash near Dillingham, Alaska. At about 8:00 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time, a DeHavilland DHC-3T (N455A) crashed 10 miles northwest of Aleknagik, Alaska. Reports are that 5 of the 9 persons on board died in the accident."
Local Weather, Dillingham, Alaska
"Dave Dittman, a former aide and longtime family friend of former Sen. Ted Stevens says Stevens was killed in a plane crash near Dillingham Monday night. Nine people were on board, including former NASA Chief Sean O'Keefe. Five people were killed in the crash, but other identities were not known, nor are the conditions of the survivors."
"The friend, Dave Dittman, told local Alaska news outlets that he had been told Stevens had died in the crash, but in a new statement said "that has not been confirmed."
Keith's 1:47 PM EDT update: I have confirmed that former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe was aboard the plane with one of his two sons. In addition, I am told by reliable sources that three of Sen. Stevens' friends where on also board: one (male) accompanied by his son, another (female) by her daughter, plus another person (male). I am withholding the names. They are not affiliated with the space community.
Bad weather and the remote location of the crash site are hampering efforts. In addition, local sunrise was at 6:41 AM local time (10:41 am EDT). I am told that a rescue helicopter as taken two of the most seriously injured survivors out for treatment while the other two with lesser injuries remained behind for the time being. I am awaiting further updates.
Keith's 2:12 PM EDT update: Fox is quoting a local pilot who said that he saw the crash site last night and that the plane apparently flew right into the side of a mountain at an altitude of 1,000 feet in very bad weather.
This is the general area where the plane went down. Link to Google maps.