Gary Knopp (Dies in Plane Crash) Biography, Gary Knopp Wiki
Alaska Representative Gary Knopp died on a plane crash near his hometown of Soldotna on July 31, 2020, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy confirmed Knopp was one of the pilots involved in the crash between a single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver and a twin-engine Piper Aztec. The collision happened approximately two miles northeast of Soldotna’s airport on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.
Dunleavy said in an official statement on Friday, “First Lady and I wish our heartfelt condolences as we rested on the untimely transition of the Representative Knopp to his family. During his 42 years on the Kenai Peninsula, Gary was recognized as an avid outdoors, a skilled pilot and a private public official. Its existence will undoubtedly be overlooked by those who serve faithfully. ”
Born in Montana Whitefish, Knopp was an experienced pilot and certified flight instructor before moving to Alaska in 1979. He worked as a general contractor before entering politics. In 2016, he was elected to the Knopp Alaska Legislative Assembly and served in the Kenai District Council. He was a candidate for House District 30 in the upcoming 2020 Republican Assembly. Its name will remain on the ballot paper.
Knopp survived by his wife, Helen. Before Knopp’s death was confirmed, Helen said to Anchorage Daily News, “I am as worried as anyone else waiting for him to touch.” She hasn’t made a public comment since her husband’s death was announced.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, two planes collided at 8:30 am local time on Friday. A hospital spokesperson told Anchorage Daily News that he did not know how many passengers were on two planes. Whether there are other deaths has not yet been confirmed. A passenger was taken by ambulance to Soldotna’s Central Peninsula Hospital, but his condition could not be achieved yet.
According to longtime Alaska State Senator Peter A. Micciche, one of the other deaths caused by plane crash was a man named Greg Bell.
Rita Geller, a shop assistant at Birch Ridge Golf Course near Soldotna, witnessed the plane crash. He said to KTUU News: “First thing, I heard a really loud, metallic voice. I looked up and saw an airplane landing and ran around a tree to look better and I could see the plane crashing. ”
“What a terrible, terrible thing I have seen,” said Geller, saying that all the victims concerned prayed for their families. “I’m still a bit shaken. I was shocked. My knees were weakened. I couldn’t believe I saw this, and this 911 shock reminded me that you couldn’t believe you saw the plane explode. ”
According to the Juneau Empire, Clint Johnson, head of Alaska’s National Transport Security Board division, will help investigate the accident to identify a possible cause.
Dunleavy has announced that the US Flag and the Alaska state flag will fly by half-staff in Knopp’s honor from Friday to Monday evening. After Knopp’s death, praises from lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum shared praises to the late legislature.
“I was devastated and shocked to learn about the collision claiming Gary Knopp’s life,” said Parliament Speaker Bryce Edgmon, who appointed Knopp to serve the governor’s 911 and the Consolidation Working Group on June 12. Gary was a unique leader and a true Alaskan in the Legislative Assembly, working tirelessly for his region. It will be missed by many. ”
“Gary was a friend,” said Tom Begich, a Democrat Senator from Anchorage. He was a man of conscience and duty as a legislator. A person I trusted and cared for, I always knew that it was at the heart of the interests of the state and its voters. His wife Helen and family are in my thoughts today. “