The Coast Guard today identified the pilot of a missing Cessna as Jose Krall of Maui.
Coast Guard officials say a debris field spotted north of Maui earlier today could be from Krall’s Cessna 172S Skyhawk.
In particular, a wheel recovered from the ocean could be a match for that popular model, the Coast Guard said.
Pieces of debris recovered about two miles off the north coast of Maui appear to be parts of the single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft, the Coast Guard said in a news release.
However, the Coast Guard has not officially made a positive identification, the release says.
Coast Guard Lt. Leigh Cotterell said it is unlikely Krall could still be alive somewhere.
“Based on the details of the incident and what we know in the debris, the Coast Guard is pretty confident that it is highly likely that it (the crash) is not survivable,” he said.
The Skyhawk disappeared off radar Saturday night while travelling from Maui to Molokai, and the search for it has continued throughout today.
Krall, who is believed to be in his 50s, was flying alone in the four-seat aircraft.
Krall and his wife, Claire Fujii-Krall, own the Maui Bake Shop in Wailuku. A call was made today to the shop, but the Star-Advertiser was told Fujii-Krall would not be available for comment.
A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Barbers Point Air Station, the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Ahi from Honolulu, and response boat crews from Coast Guard Station Maui are searching the area.
The Maui Fire Department and Maui Police Department conducted land searches without locating any signs of aircraft debris. The Coast Guard has asked the public to report any aircraft debris to Maui police.
The Cessna left Kahului Airport about 7 p.m. Saturday, heading toward Molokai.
The plane disappeared from radar and radio contact about 30 minutes later, when it was about 2.5 miles north off the north shore of Maui, the Coast Guard said.
Cotterell said the situation will be reevaluated Monday to determine whether the search will resume.