The pilot of an ultralight plane told witnesses his engine failed at around 3,000 feet, causing him to crash onto a rocky lava field about 6 miles north of the Kona airport Wednesday morning, a Hawaii County fire official said.
West Hawaii Battalion Chief William Bergin said the pilot was attempting to glide onto a grassy field at the Kukio Golf and Beach Club, but landed 25 feet short.
The pilot suffered injuries and was transported by Medic 14 in stable condition to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, Bergin said.
His passenger, a visitor from Washington state, experienced dizziness, but refused treatment by medics, and returned by private vehicle to the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport, which is where the plane initially took off.
The Air Creation Tanarg ultralight plane is owned by Jeffery Hoff of Honokaa, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
Kona Coast by Air is the company that operates the plane, and the pilot is not the owner of the company, Bergin said.
The motorized aircraft, with tail number N-912TJ, landed upside down, against a 1,100-gallon propane tank that services a kitchen used by the Kukio resort’s athletic club, Bergin said, adding that some gas lines were damaged.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board officials will arrive March 27 to investigate the crash, Bergin said.