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Kauai police identify pilot, passenger in ultralight crash

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:13 p.m. HST, Mar 13, 2014

Kauai police have identified the passenger killed in Tuesday's light sport aircraft crash in Waiakamoo Valley in Polihale as Mark McKenzie, 53, of Pickering, Ontario, Canada.

Also, police also identified the pilot as Gerry Charlebois, 54, of Kapahi. Several hours after the crash, friends identified the pilot as Charlebois, owner of Birds in Paradise.

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 aircraft, an Evolution Trikes Revo, is registered to Birds in Paradise. 

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Adminstration and the National Transportation Safety Board were sent to Kauai. NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss said a preliminary report is expected to be released within about one week. A final report will be released in 12 to 18 months. 

The crash marked first light sport aircraft crash on Kauai since 2011, when two separate crashes resulted in four fatalities. Two people were killed in a crash off Kauai's south shore in February of that year. Then in May, a pilot and passenger died when a light sport aircraft crashed in waters off Kauai's north shore. 

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