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Pilot critically hurt after plane’s hard landing in Hilo cornfield

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The pilot of a light airplane was critically injured when he made a hard landing in a corn field in Hilo Thursday morning, Hawaii County police said.

Martin Oliver, 68, of Hilo was conscious and complained of leg and back pain, police Sgt. Greg Yamada said. Oliver was the only person aboard the plane.

Fire Department personnel removed the pilot from the crumpled plane and airlifted him to North Hawaii Community Hospital, police said. Police at first said Oliver was in serious condition, but later said he was in critical condition and would be flown to the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu.

The hard landing happened about 10:30 a.m. about 20 miles northwest of Hilo Airport in a field along Ookala Dairy road, near the 30-mile marker of Hawaii Belt Road.

Police said Oliver tried to land on a newly planted corn field after his single-engine, two-seat Savannah ADV propeller plane reportedly lost power due to engine failure.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Ian Gregor said the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.

 

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