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Two dead after aircraft crashes on Kauai

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 10:15 p.m. HST, Mar 11, 2014

The crash of an ultralight aircraft on Kauai that killed two people Tuesday marked the seventh in Hawaii involving weight-shift control aircraft since 2010.

Friends identified the pilot killed Tuesday as Gerry Charle-bois, owner

of Birds in Paradise.

"He was a 35-year veteran of the air," said longtime friend Dave Goto. "His flying was as good as it gets. He was the best of the best. Everyone held him in high regard as far as his safety and teaching ability. He's succeeded where others have fallen by the wayside.

"He was a pioneer of that ultralight industry here," his equipment was always state of the art and his routine maintenance was top-notch, he said.

Kauai County officials were alerted by a caller to a fire and smoke caused by the crash on the side of a mountain near Poli-hale Beach around 9 a.m.

The ultralight Evolution Trikes Revo aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances, said Ian Gregor, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

Two FAA investigators have been sent to Kauai to begin the crash investigation, which also will include the National Transportation Safety Board.

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