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Lanai crash survivor: Plane made ‘extreme bank’

  • COURTESY NTSBNTSB investigator Andrew Swick at the site of the wreckage of the plane that crashed on Lanai on Feb. 26.
    NTSB investigator Andrew Swick at the site of the wreckage of the plane that crashed on Lanai on Feb. 26.

WAILUKU, Maui >> A man who survived a deadly plane crash on Lanai told authorities the aircraft carrying Maui County employees made an extreme bank to the right after takeoff and he was later thrown from the plane, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The movement after takeoff was so hard that the man could feel the G-force, the Maui News reported, citing a statement provided to police by a Transportation Safety Administration supervisor who spoke with the survivor.

"After that everything happened very quickly and he was thrown from the plane," said the statement, which doesn’t identify the man. It does not say if the plane was still in the air when the man was ejected.

The pilot and two women working for the Maui County Planning Department were killed in the Feb. 26 crash. Three men who also work for the county were hospitalized with burn injuries.

The survivor who was thrown from the plane told the unnamed TSA supervisor that he saw two men lying on the ground and two women still in the burning plane. He said he didn’t see the pilot.

After the crash, Maui County said Deputy Corporation Counsel James Giroux called 911 after pulling the two other men away from the burning plane.

Maui County had chartered the Maui Air Tours flight for the five county employees who were returning to Kahului after attending a Lanai Planning Commission meeting.

According to police, an officer was dispatched to the Miki Basin area after a report about a large orange glow in the sky. Minutes later, a TSA supervisor reported there had been a plane crash near the airport.

Police detectives and an evidence specialist who went to the crash scene found the women’s bodies in the main wreckage and the pilot 10 to 15 feet away from the main wreckage, police said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

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