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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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makaidog wrote:
I wouldn't say that the side of a mountain near Polihale Beach is anywhere near Kokee. I'd say it's a lot closer to Mana than anywhere in Kokee.
on March 11,2014 | 10:52AM
copperwire9 wrote:
As the ultralight flies it's quite close.
on March 11,2014 | 01:50PM
makaidog wrote:
And if the crash was near Polihale, that map that goes with the story is really misleading.
on March 11,2014 | 10:55AM
KahinuG wrote:
That's what they do... run to Google. There's so many other free resources out there... USGS Quad maps for one. The end of Polihale Beach to the north is at Hikimoe Valley... those are steep 1,400' cliffs all along that coast to Napali. Kokee is more like 3,000' and the two State Parks are 4 miles apart.
on March 11,2014 | 12:32PM
SueH wrote:
I wouldn't call an Evolution Trikes Revo weight-shift-control aircraft a real aircraft, either. It's more like a kid's toy! I've been a pilot for 40 years and I wouldn't even feel safe riding around on the ground in one of those things, let alone take to the air!
on March 11,2014 | 11:34AM
BuhByeAloha wrote:
PuH, Are you concerned with the two people that just lost their lives, or letting everyone know you're a pilot. This is a sad world.
on March 11,2014 | 02:38PM
SueH wrote:
If an experienced pilot feels uncomfortable with the lack of safety in a Trike, then maybe other people will use that information as an informed opinion and think twice about flying in one. As for the "everyone" you speak of, I don't anticipate taking any of them flying in the foreseeable future so it doesn't matter if they know I'm a pilot or not, therefore despite what you think, I don't need to "let everyone know I'm a pilot". I was merely establishing credibility for my opinion on Trikes in hopes others might learn.
on March 11,2014 | 05:32PM
honokai wrote:
Very good points SueH. A couple of these contraptions went down several years ago. They sell the ride to tourists as instruction. Thereby circumventing any semblance of airworthiness standards. You are spot on. The word needs to get out that these machines are a disaster waiting to happen. Nobody with a family should ever get in one of these things.
on March 11,2014 | 06:08PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Sue, good point. BuhBye, pointless.
on March 11,2014 | 07:54PM
BuhByeAloha wrote:
PuH, Thanks for your wisdom. I'm sure we all could benefit from your extensive experience. Tell us what just happened to the Malaysia Airlines 777. Where did that woman pilot Amelia Earhart end up? TWA 800? This is great having a friend thats an expert on aviation.
on March 11,2014 | 06:27PM
SueH wrote:
BuhByeAloha, it seems like the only thing you're an expert at is cynicism.
on March 11,2014 | 08:52PM
rbzs1 wrote:
wow, what's up with da plane crashes.....yikes
on March 11,2014 | 01:30PM
Waterman2 wrote:
I watched one go down a couple years ago at Honopuu. Big brewhaha, Media, FAA. Everyone Cops the whole mess. Interviews, investigation......buncha baloney........and then what ? Nothing, nadda. So today two more die and next week the ultra lites will be flying again.....no drug testing, just fly till you die tours going again. If any of the family of these folks read this, my recommendation is sue the companies for all they are worth, sue the FAA, sue the state, and sue the county. Nothing else has worked, and these fly brainiacs tell everyone they are FAA legal. Sickening. Another senseless death. Happy Tourism.
on March 11,2014 | 03:51PM
honokai wrote:
from their web site FAQs ----> "Children must be at least 4'6" tall and 9 years old." ---- this makes absolutely no sense at all
on March 11,2014 | 06:19PM
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