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Plane forced to land on Molokai after losing engine power


A single-engine airplane with four people aboard made a forced landing on the eastern end of Molokai near Cape Halawa, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and fire officials.

All four were airlifted by Maui fire rescue helicopter to a landing zone at Puu o Hoku Ranch.

One man was flown by Maui Medevac to Maui Memorial Hospital in serious condition, and three other people who suffered minor injuries were transported by medics to Molokai General Hospital for further evaluation and treatment, Maui Fire spokesman Capt. Rylan Yatsushiro said.

According to initial fire rescue reports, four people survived the forced landing. Of the four, three were able to walk and one required assistance.

“Everybody’s fine,” said Michael S. Richards, the registered owner of the airplane.

Richards, interviewed by telephone as he was at Molokai General Hospital, said the man airlifted to Maui Memorial Medical Center had joint pain.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said according to a initial report, the Cessna 172 lost engine power about 2 p.m.

“This is all very preliminary,” Gregor said.

Based on the airplane tail number, the airplane is owned by Hawaiian Night Lights LLC, an aviation business that according to the state, was formed in 2006 by Richards of Hauula.

Fire officials said the forced landing took place at the 3,000-foot level near Halawa Falls.

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