Maui Police Release Lānaʻi Plane Crash Report

March 5, 2014, 4:38 PM HST · Updated March 6, 9:40 AM
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NTSB investigator Andrew Swick documents the wreckage of a Piper PA-31 that crashed in Lanai, HI, on Weds. Feb. 26. Photo courtesy NTSB.

NTSB investigator Andrew Swick documents the wreckage of a Piper PA-31 that crashed in Lanai, HI, on Weds. Feb. 26. Photo courtesy NTSB.

By Wendy Osher

The Maui Police Department released a report today confirming the identities of those aboard a plane that crashed on Lānaʻi last week.

The report also states that the cause of death for the three individuals that died in the incident has not been determined pending a coroner’s physician’s report.

The department issued a press release this afternoon classifying the crash as a miscellaneous accident.

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According to the document, the Piper PA-31-350 aircraft, which was owned and operated by Maui Air Tours, crashed at 9:11 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.

The incident occurred shortly after departure, in the area known as “Miki Basin,” about 1 mile south of the Lānaʻi Airport.

The flight was chartered by the County of Maui Planning Department for a meeting on Lānaʻi, and was carrying five county personnel and a Maui Air Tours pilot.

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The report confirms that the three survivors are:

  • James Giroux, 43, of Haʻikū, deputy for Corporation Counsel for the County of Maui;
  • Douglas Miller, 57, of Kahului, planner IV for the Maui Planning Department; and
  • Mark King, 43, of Kīhei, geographical information systems analyst V for Maui.

All three are still being treated in hospitals on Oʻahu, with Miller and King in critical condition, and Giroux in stable condition, police said.

The report also confirmed the names and identities of the three individuals who died in the crash which included the following:

  • Richard Rooney, 66, of Pāʻia, who was also the pilot and owner of the aircraft;
  • Tremaine Balberdi, 52 of Kahului, secretary to the boards and commission II; and
  • Kathleen Kern, 50, of Kīhei, planner V for the Planning Department.
Maui Police Department Forensic Facility in Wailuku. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Police Department Forensic Facility in Wailuku. Photo by Wendy Osher.

On Friday, the Maui Police Department confirmed that all victims of Wednesday’s plane crash on Lāna‘i had been recovered and were taken to the department’s forensic facility in Wailuku.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Peter Knudson said the on-scene investigation was expected to conclude on Monday, and that a preliminary report is due out later this week.

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