By Wendy Osher
All 10 people aboard a small Cessna commuter aircraft, including eight passengers and two pilots, were uninjured after the plane made an emergency landing on the Piʻilani Highway in South Maui last night.
A preliminary report filed by the Federal Aviation Administration says the Mokulele Airlines Express Caravan craft sustained only minor damage when the forced landing occurred just after 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21.
FAA spokesperson, Ian Gregor said the Mokulele flight 1770, “lost engine power after departing from Maui for Kamuela.”
The report was corroborated by Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga who said preliminary reports indicate the pilots aboard had experienced engine trouble prior to landing.
The aircraft made a forced landing, coming to a stop just south of the intersection of the Piʻilani Highway and Kilohana Drive, according to preliminary FAA accident report data.
Gregor confirmed that no one aboard the plane was injured in the incident. He continued, “Nobody on the ground was injured and nothing on the ground was damaged.
The FAA has launched an investigation into the incident.
The highway remained closed until around 10:45 p.m. on Monday while officials with the state Department of Transportation conducted an investigation.
The plane has since been moved to an empty lot between the Wailea Fire Station and the Kilohana/Piʻilani Highway intersection.
Investigators were on scene inspecting the aircraft this morning as spectators stopped by to snap photos of the plane, which has become a small road-side spectacle.
The area was cordoned off by police tape to prevent the public from getting too close to the plane, and the investigation taking place.