HONOLULU — A budding videographer who fell in love with skydiving was one of the victims in an airplane crash on Oahu that killed all 11 aboard, the deadliest civil aviation accident since 2011.
Jordan Tehero, 23, took up skydiving a few years ago as a distraction from the breakup of a relationship, his father, Garret, told The Associated Press. Then his son “went and fell in love” with the sport, he said.
The plane was carrying skydivers from the Oahu Parachute Co., a North Shore business about an hour’s drive north of Honolulu.
The Beechcraft twin-engine airplane that can seat 13 took off from the runway at Dillingham Airfield, banked and then inverted in the air and crashed near the airport’s perimeter fence Friday evening, the National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy said. There were no survivors.
Autopsies have been completed, and all victims died of multiple blunt-force injuries from the crash, said Andrew Pereira, a spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
The same plane sustained substantial damage to its tail section in a 2016 accident while carrying skydivers over Northern California. Repairs were then made to get the plane back into service, and those records along with inspection reports on the plane are part of the NTSB’s investigation.
“We will be looking at the quality of those repairs and whether it was inspected and whether it was airworthy,” Homendy said.
Federal investigators flew to Hawaii to conduct the probe of the crash. They expect to release a preliminary report in about two weeks, but the final report — which will include the cause of the crash — could take up to two years to be released.
Garret Tehero lives on Kauai, where his son also lived.
Tehero said he spoke with his son the morning of the crash. The two had flown to Honolulu together, the father for business and Jordan for skydiving. Jordan also worked as a security guard, and his employer wanted him to do some work in Honolulu on Sunday as well, so he decided to stay while his father went back to Kauai.
He said Jordan became interested in skydiving after he and a girlfriend broke up a few years ago.
“Sometimes people find a passion when they go through something, you know, that makes you want to take the mind off,” the father said. “He went and fell in love with it.”
Jordan’s parents both expressed worries over his new hobby.
“Because of our fear, we wanted him to stop,” the father said. “But he didn’t have the fear that we had, so he just continued.”
Any fears he may have had were taken care of with prayer. “He always told me, ‘Dad, I pray before every flight, before every jump I pray,’ ” the father said.
On Monday, the NTSB said it’s putting the Federal Aviation Administration on notice that it must tighten its regulations governing parachute operations. Homendy said during a news conference that her agency recommended to the FAA in 2008 that it boost regulations on pilot training, aircraft maintenance and inspection, and FAA oversight.
But she said the FAA hasn’t acted on those recommendations.
The FAA did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Friday’s crash was the most deadly civil aviation accident in the United States since a 2011 Reno Air Show wreck killed a pilot and 10 spectators in Nevada.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald