Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have arrived on Oahu to start their investigation into a plane crash that killed 11 people at Dillingham Airfield on Friday.
Jennifer Homendy, an NTSB board member, was at the site of the crash and held a briefing this morning to discuss current findings and the future of the investigation.
NTSB will be looking at any evidence from the crash, such as logbooks, the passengers, weather conditions, runway conditions and information about the plane itself, including maintenance records. Homendy said the NTSB will be looking at “perishable evidence” including information about the pilot, such as logbooks and training records.
Regarding weather conditions at the time of the crash, Homendy said it is under investigation, but said, “We do understand it was clear with a light wind.”
>> Mourners search for answers from Friday’s fiery plane crash in Mokuleia
>> Plane crash victims remembered for love of adventure, passion for life
>> NTSB report: Recurring safety issues noted in skydiving aircraft crashes
>> Hawaii parachute plane in fatal crash involved in previous incident in California
>> Oahu Parachute Center was relatively new to North Shore skydiving scene
>> A look back at some of the worst civilian aviation disasters in Hawaii’s history
>> PHOTOS: 11 dead in aircraft crash at Dillingham Airfield
She also suggested the plane was not at its full weight capacity, but noted that weight distribution could and has factored in other NTSB investigations.
“The aircraft itself is outfitted for 13 people,” she said. “Weight and balance has a factor in the safety of these operations, and that’s a calculation that needs to be made before a plane is operated, and that is something we’ll be looking at.”
When asked why the plane was allowed to fly after being involved in a previous crash, Homendy likened the plane to the maintenance of other transportation vehicles.
“Like other modes of transportation, you would conduct repairs and make sure that is inspected, and so we will be looking at the quality of those repairs and whether it was inspected and whether it was air-worthy,” she said.
The plane that crashed Friday had experienced “aircraft structural failure” during a 2016 skydiving accident over Byron, Calif., according to the NTSB.
Homendy said she is unaware of a black box on board the aircraft.
NTSB will likely have another press conference later today and will issue a preliminary report within the next two weeks. Homendy urged witnesses to share any information regarding the crash with investigators.
The accident occurred Friday and killed all 11 people on board, which Homendy said makes it the deadliest civilian airplane accident in the U.S. since 2011.
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.
Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.