LIHU‘E — The plane that crashed shortly after takeoff at Lihu‘e Airport on Thursday is tied to an owner in Koloa and pending registration with the Federal Aviation Agency.
Though the current owners of the aircraft are not confirmed, a plane matching its appearance and registration number was featured in 2016 on the website of Kaua‘i Flying Club, a flight training service.
The Beechcraft BE77 is painted in a similar style to the U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds and has the phrase “United States Air Farce” written on the side.
In 2013, it was registered to Moku Maluhia Enterprises LLC in Lihu‘e, whose owner is the Kaua‘i Flying Club treasurer, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware. The registration has been pending for another owner in Koloa since September 2022.
The plane, which can generate up to 115 horsepower and weighs less than 12,500 pounds, had completed a flight to the North Shore on Tuesday, FlightAware shows.
The crash occurred 75 to 100 feet outside of airport property near the Ocean Course at Hokuala shortly before 12:10 p.m. Thursday.
The individuals involved have not been officially identified and the cause of the crash has not yet been determined. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are leading the investigation into the crash. The NTSB will issue a preliminary report in the coming weeks.
Civil Air Patrol Kaua‘i Composite Squadron Public Information Officer Jodie Cable-Treadwell reported the pilot is a member of Civil Air Patrol, flying a private aircraft.
She attributed the crash to a plane failure during a Kona wind takeoff.
“He lost power and landed at the end of the runway and went through the fence,” said Cable-Treadwell.
First responders from the Lihu‘e fire station, state Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting at the airport, American Medical Response and Kaua‘i Police Department responded to the scene of the crash. The pilot and passenger were transported to Wilcox Medical Center.
Cable-Treadwell described the pilot’s condition on Thursday evening as “conscious, responsive, communicative and stable.”
The aircraft sat behind a chain-link fence near the Ocean Course at Hokuala at 2 p.m. Thursday. It was badly damaged, with one wing snapped in half.
Cunningham reported the crash did not affect commercial flights.
This is the third aviation accident to occur on island this year.
On Feb. 22, a military-contracted helicopter crashed during a training mission at the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, killing four people. And on March 20, two men were killed when a Civil Air Patrol plane flying in poor weather conditions crashed in Kalalau Valley.
Source: The Garden Island