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Divers find wreckage from downed powered glider

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:17 p.m. HST, Feb 24, 2011


Divers have recovered the powered-glider wreckage that crashed off of Kauai last week.

Jim Gaither, owner of Big Sky Kauai, and passenger Kim Buergel of Spokane, Wash. were killed on Feb. 15 after the aircraft crashed into waters off of Kauai Coffee Co. 

The aircraft recovered at approximately 11 a.m. yesterday was taken to the Civil Air Patrol hangar in Lihue. 

Jim Struhsaker, senior air safety investigator of the National Transportation Safety Board, said he plans to talk to witnesses and get in contact with the aircraft manufacturer, Airborne Windsports Ltd. A preliminary report on the crash is expected to be completed in a week.

 A kayaker reported the downed aircraft at approximately 11:41 a.m. on Feb. 15. Divers located Gaither and Buergel the next day after they used scanning sonar technology in the search. 

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