UPDATE 3:30 p.m.:
The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office today released the names of seven of the victims of Friday’s skydiving plane that crashed at Dillingham Airfield, killing all 11 aboard.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are in town investigating the incident, which they called the deadliest civilian aircraft accident in the U.S. since a 2011 Reno Air Show crash that killed the pilot and 10 spectators. NTSB investigators said the plane apparently flipped and burned shortly after takeoff.
The names released today are:
>> Joshua Drablos, 27, U.S. military member stationed in Hawaii, Virginia resident
>> Nikolas Glebov, 28, St. Paul, Minnesota
>> Daniel Herndon, 35, Hawaii resident
>> Michael Martin, 32, Hawaii resident
>> Jordan Tehero, 23, Hawaii resident
>> Ashley Weikel, 26, Colorado Springs, Colorado
>> Bryan Weikel, 27, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Happy and his staff plan to release the identities of the four remaining victims once they have been confirmed. There were 10 men and one woman among the victims.
Friends and family members earlier confirmed to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that pilot Jerome Renck, Larry Lemaster and Casey Williamson, who along with Martin appeared to be employed by Oahu Parachute Center, were among the victims.
Bryan and Ashley Weikel
A Colorado Springs couple who were celebrating their first anniversary on Oahu were among the 11 killed in the crash, according to a Colorado newspaper.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported today that it was the first skydiving adventure for Bryan and Ashley Weikel.
The newspaper reported that family members had not been officially notified as of this Monday morning but concluded that the couple was among the victims based on social media posts from Ashley Weikel, who had posted pictures of them boarding the skydiving plane on Friday.
Relatives told KCNC-TV the couple was excited to go skydiving, but Bryan’s mother, Kathy Reed-Gerk, begged him not to go.
A makeshift memorial at Dillingham Airfield continues to grow today as mourners place flowers near the crash site where 11 people aboard a twin-engine plane were killed after the aircraft plummeted to the ground.
Investigators of the National Transportation Safety Board are the site continuing to examine the wreckage on the second day of their investigation.
The NTSB team will also look into aircraft maintenance records, runway and weather conditions as well as the pilot’s logbook and training records.
The 11 people on board were on a plane operated by Oahu Parachute Center. Company representatives could not be reached for comment this morning.
The Beechcraft King Air 65-A90 crashed at the fence line shortly after takeoff Friday night. Investigators said the aircraft apparently flipped and burned shortly after takeoff.
Dillingham Airfield remains closed today because of the investigation.
Lt. Joshua Drablos
The Navy identified a 27-year-old sailor as one of 11 people killed in Friday’s crash of an Oahu Parachute Center Beechcraft King Air at Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia.
Lt. Joshua Drablos was confirmed aboard the aircraft by the National Transportation Safety Board and confirmed dead by a local medical examiner, the Navy said today in a news release. Drablos was assigned to U.S. Fleet Cyber Command.
The Maryland man had been with the Kunia Cyber Mission Force since late 2018, except for a few months as a student at the Naval War College.
Drablos, who attended the Naval Academy, was on the Navy men’s track and field team as a pole vaulter.
As a Jefferson Forest High School student, Drablos won the state title in pole vault in 2010, the year he graduated.
He was a track and field team captain and was president of the Teenage Republicans Club.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and shipmates of Lt. Joshua Drablos during this extremely difficult and painful time,” said the commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet, Vice Adm. Timothy “T.J.” White.
“Joshua was an invaluable member of the Fleet Cyber team, and we are deeply saddened by the loss of this humble warrior,” White said.
A budding videographer who fell in love with skydiving was one of the 11 victims of Friday’s airplane crash in Mokuleia.
Jordan Tehero, 23, took up skydiving a few years ago as a distraction from the breakup of a relationship, his father, Garret, told The Associated Press. Then his son “went and fell in love” with the sport, he said.
The plane was carrying skydivers from the Oahu Parachute Co..
The Beechcraft twin-engine airplane that can seat 13 took off from the runway at Dillingham Airfield, banked and then inverted in the air and crashed near the airport’s perimeter fence Friday evening, the National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy said. There were no survivors.
Garret Tehero lives on Kauai, where his son also lived.
Tehero said he spoke with his son the morning of the crash. The two had flown to Honolulu together, the father for business and Jordan for skydiving. Jordan also worked as a security guard, and his employer wanted him to do some work in Honolulu on Sunday as well, so he decided to stay while his father went back to Kauai.
He said Jordan became interested in skydiving after he and a girlfriend broke up a few years ago.
“Sometimes people find a passion when they go through something, you know, that makes you want to take the mind off,” the father said. “He went and fell in love with it.”
Jordan’s parents both expressed worries over his new hobby.
“Because of our fear, we wanted him to stop,” the father said. “But he didn’t have the fear that we had, so he just continued.”
Any fears he may have had were taken care of with prayer. “He always told me, ‘Dad, I pray before every flight, before every jump I pray,’ ” the father said.
Star-Advertiser reporters Allison Schaefers, Rosemarie Bernardo and William Cole, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.