NTSB Report: “Loud Bang” Heard Prior to Kalaupapa Plane Crash

January 2, 2014, 10:16 AM HST · Updated January 2, 11:03 AM
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Kalaupapa plane crash, photo courtesy US Coast Guard Lt. Bryan Weber.

Kalaupapa plane crash, photo courtesy US Coast Guard Lt. Bryan Weber.

By Wendy Osher

The pilot of a plane that crashed off Kalaupapa, Molokaʻi in December heard “a loud bang,” and said the plane experienced a “total loss of power” shortly after takeoff, according to a preliminary accident report published this week by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Eight people including the pilot survived the Dec. 11, 2013 crash, but Hawaiʻi Health Director Loretta Fuddy died in the incident.

According to new information released by the NTSB, the pilot of the Makani Kai Air Cessna craft, “performed an open ocean ditching,” after a “short glide.”

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The NTSB report states that the airplane floated for approximately 25 minutes, and then sank.

The flight departed from the Kalaupapa Airport, and was en route to Honolulu International Airport when the incident occurred.

“Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, which had originated about two minutes before the accident,” the NTSB report stated.

All passengers put on their life preservers and exited the plane before being recovered by US Coast Guard and Maui Fire and Rescue personnel about 80 minutes later, according to the NTSB.

In addition to the fatality, the NTSB report states that the airline transport pilot and two passengers were seriously injured, and the five remaining passengers received minor injuries.

A final report is pending.

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