comscore NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal Kauai plane crash | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal Kauai plane crash

  • STAR-ADVERTISER

    Investigators inspected the wreckage from a sky-diving plane crash, on May 23, near the Port Allen Airport on Kauai.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report today on the fatal skydiving tour plane crash where five men died in Hanapepe.

Pilot Damien Horan, 30, originally from Ireland; brothers Marshall Cabe, 25, and Phillip Cabe, 27, of Lawton, Okla. who were the tandem jumpers; and instructors Enzo Amitrano, 43, of Koloa; and Wayne Rose, 26, of Hanapepe, died in the crash on the morning of May 23.

According to the report, a Cessna 182H was destroyed when it struck the ground shortly after takeoff from Port Allen Airport at about 9:22 a.m. The airplane was registered to and operated by D & J Air Adventures, Inc.

The aircraft took off about 9:21 a.m.

“Multiple witnesses reported that shortly after takeoff, about 150 feet above ground level, the airplane made a sudden right turn, descended, and impacted terrain,” the report said. The plane caught fire after it crashed.

Cisco Campos, 68, of Hanapepe told the Star-Advertiser he was fishing near the runway at Port Allen when he heard the engine sputter after the aircraft took off. At the end of the runway, he said, it appeared the plane attempted to turn around to head back toward the airport when the engine caught fire and the plane went straight down.

The wreckage was transported to a secured facility at the Lihue Airport for the ongoing investigation.

The final report on the fiery crash is expected to be released in 12 to 16 months.

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  • Emergency checklist for pilots:

    1. FLY THE AIRLANE.

    2. “Identify”. What is the problem.

    3. “Buy time”. Obtain either best climb rate or “best glide speed”. About 65-70 mph.

    4. “Use extreme caution when making turns close to the ground”. Consider flying straight ahead and “riding it in” near the aircraft stall speed of about 50 mph.

    “The air, more-so than the sea, is terribly unforgiving of mistakes”.

  • Starting to sound like a fuel leak under the cowling. Engine out at 150 feet, turn only enough to avoid straight-ahead obstacles and ride it in.

  • Well this “report” did not tell us anything we didn’t already know… This story wasn’t even a good condensed version of the original news stories.

  • Sounds like engine failure and possible in-flight fire with loss of integrity of the fuel system, then an attempted return to runway in a steep turn vs landing straight ahead on land or in the water. The apparent steep turn caused any remaining airspeed to bleed off (coupled with an accelerated stall scenario), resulting in the aircraft losing lift and stalling, then leading to a spin or plummet to the ground. Unfortunately, this is an all too common accident scenario, if that is what happened. Emergency procedures mandate that a 180-degree return to the runway should not be attempted without generous altitude and air speed, otherwise go mostly straight ahead, unless a slight turn is needed to avoid collision with obstacles.

    If the aircraft was also out of center of gravity (cg) and overloaded, then stalling is even more likely. Also, if the cabin was without seats for the skydivers to fit and exit, then if they inadvertently slid to the back of the aircraft, this could have also resulted in an aft out of cg limit scenario.

    Like most accidents, this may have been a cascade or convergence of multiple issues that ultimately lead to the accident. It is extremely ironic that most of the occupants were equipped with a mean to survive (parachutes) but were not able to do so when close to the ground.

  • 5 people in a Cessna 182H, basically a 4-seater, would seem to be asking for weight and balance problems. Turning back to the airport at 150′ altitude is a fatal mistake.

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