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Small aircraft lands in waters off Mokuleia

    A group of men from Dillingham Airfield maneuvered an airplane through the narrow gate at the airfield one wing at a time after Acroflight International pilot Greg Harding was forced to crash land in the ocean near in Mokoleia after running out of gas on Tuesday.

A pilot landed in shallow waters off of Dillingham Airfield late Wednesday morning after his aircraft ran out of fuel. 

Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. David Jenkins said the pilot, the sole occupant in a single-person aircraft, landed in about five feet of water at about 11:30 a.m.

The pilot was able to get out of the plane on his own, Jenkins said.

The 59-year-old pilot of the Piper PA25 says there were about a dozen people on the beach, so he opted for the water.

“The engine quit; that’s all I’ll say about that,” Greg Harding said by telephone.

However, Ana “Suzy” Gromacki, owner of North Shore Aircraft Leasing Co., which owns the plane, said the pilot ran out of fuel.

Harding said he had just released a glider plane when the engine died.

He had to find an open stretch of land and planned on the beach, but there were people on the beach, but no one in the water, so that is where he landed.

Harding made it out uninjured.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported that the plane went down at 11:26 a.m. on its approach to Dillingham Airfield in the ocean just west of the airfield. The FAA is investigating.

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