Politics And Airplane Crashes

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The list of famous musicians killed in airplanes is a familiar one -- from Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper to John Denver -- but it seems politicians also have an unlucky record with GA flying. "It's push, push, push. We think we're so important and this admiring throng is waiting for us, we fly through thunderstorms and fog and whatever, thinking we can get there," former Sen. Lauch Faircloth, of North Carolina, a crash survivor, told The Twin Cities Pioneer Press. The list of politicians who have survived small-airplane crashes includes Senators Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Ted Stevens of Alaska. Among those who died are Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania, in 1991, Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan in 2000, and Sen. Paul Wellstone, of Minnesota, in 2002. "Statewide races are very frantic, very intense," said Connie Schultz, who asked her husband, an Ohio politician, to stay out of small airplanes on the campaign trail. "They're so rushed, and the staff takes over and nobody looks up at the sky and says this is not a good idea." This year is likely to be a busy one for politicians and GA, according to The Pioneer Press -- 33 Senate seats, 36 governorships and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for election.