Alaska Representative Mary Peltola’s husband, Dmitry Tchernavin, died in a plane crash on Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Tchernavin was the pilot of a floatplane that crashed outside of Soldotna, Alaska. There were no other passengers on the plane, and no survivors were recovered from the crash.
Peltola posted on her official Facebook page, “We are shocked and devastated. Dmitry was an amazing person, husband, father, and friend. He brought the world joy and laughter wherever he went and touched the lives of so many. He loved Alaska and was grateful for the love, respect, and support he felt from his friends and community in Soldotna. His legacy will live on through each of us.”
Tchernavin was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and met Peltola in Alaska in 2009. He was a wildlife photographer, an avid outdoorsman, and an experienced pilot who often gave sightseeing tours around the Kenai Peninsula.
Peltola is a first-term member of the Alaska House of Representatives, having been elected in November 2018. She is a member of the Special Committee on Economic Development, Trade, and Tourism and serves on the Fisheries and Coastlines Subcommittee of the Resources and Environment Committee.
Tchernavin’s death has been met with condolences from other elected officials in Alaska. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy released a statement, saying, “Our hearts and deep prayers go out to Rep. Mary Peltola and Tchernavin’s family and friends in this time of sadness. Alaska has lost a friend, and a pioneer who lived and worked in service to so many. Dmitry was an amazing husband, father, photographer, pilot, and friend whose spirit touched the lives of everyone he encountered. We are forever grateful for the impact he had on our state.”