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2 confirmed dead in single-engine plane crash at Dillingham Airfield; FAA and NTSB investigating

  • Video by Cassie Ordonio and Mark Ladao

    Two men died Saturday after a single-engine Cessna Ector 305A crashed about 200 yards from the Dillingham Airfield.

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Honolulu firefighters carry the body of one of victims who died in the single-engine plane crash at Dillingham Airfield.

    GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Honolulu firefighters carry the body of one of victims who died in the single-engine plane crash at Dillingham Airfield.

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Friends of the men who died in a single-engine plane crash reacted to the news Saturday at Dillingham Airfield.

    GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Friends of the men who died in a single-engine plane crash reacted to the news Saturday at Dillingham Airfield.

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Two people died Saturday in a single-engine plane crash at Dillingham Airfield.

    GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Two people died Saturday in a single-engine plane crash at Dillingham Airfield.

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Emergency responders gathered Saturday for a briefing following the fatal plane crash at Dillingham Airfield.

    GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Emergency responders gathered Saturday for a briefing following the fatal plane crash at Dillingham Airfield.

Two men died Saturday after a single-engine Cessna Ector 305A crashed about 200 yards from the Dillingham Airfield, the site of a horrendous skydiving crash in June that killed all 11 on board.

The Cessna, which is owned by the Honolulu Soaring Club, crashed under unknown circumstances soon after taking off at about 9:15 a.m., authorities said.

The plane came to rest upside down, killing a man in his 60s and the critically injuring another man, 78, who was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to a hospital where he died.

Dillingham Airfield, which is operated by the state Department of Transportation under a lease with the U.S. Army, is scheduled to be transferred back to Army control on July 1.

>> Click here to view photos from Dillingham Airfield

“Our hearts are with those affected by today’s tragic accident,” U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said in a statement following the crash. “It has become clear that Dillingham Airfield cannot continue to operate safely. Our obligation is to keep people safe, and the only way to do that is to keep the airfield closed. I urge the FAA and HDOT to shut down the airfield until they can guarantee safety of operations at Dillingham.”

In June, 11 people died when their skydiving plane crashed at Dillingham Airfield, the deadliest civilian aircraft accident in the U.S. since a 2011 Reno Air Show crash that killed the pilot and 10 passengers. National Transportation Safety Board investigators said that plane apparently flipped and burned shortly after takeoff.

Following today’s crash, Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued a statement on Twitter that said, “I’m deeply saddened to hear the news of two people losing their lives in today’s crash. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victims. Thank you to all the first responders on scene today. We are working with ME’s office to make sure family members are notified.”

The single-engine Cessna 305A that crashed today came to rest upside down, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

“The FAA and NTSB will investigate,” Gregor said in a statement. “The NTSB is the lead agency and it typically takes the NTSB a year or more to determine a probable cause of an accident. Neither the FAA nor NTSB identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.”

The information was preliminary and subject to change, Gregor told the Star-Advertiser.

UPDATE: 2:27 p.m.

The single-engine Cessna Ector 305A crashed approximately 200 yards away from the Dillingham Airfield runway earlier today.

Over two dozen emergency personnel were still investigating the scene of the crash, where two men in their 60s were killed just before 9:30 a.m. today.

Honolulu Soaring Club, the owner of the plane has been notified, according to DOT spokesman Timothy Sakahara.

“This is obviously a tragic incident, and it certainly just happened,” said Sakahara. “So the focus right now is in the incident itself, focusing on the response and recovery.”

Federal investigators will be at the scene tomorrow around 8 a.m., he said.

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11:31 a.m.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner has confirmed that two people died in a single-engine plane crash at Dillingham Airfield earlier today.

The medical examiner is working to identify and notify the next of kin of the two men in their 60s who died in the crash.

The plane’s tail number has been identified as N65070, according to DOT.

The next update will be released Monday at the earliest, according Honolulu city spokesman Alexander Zannes in an email.

10:50 a.m.

A single-engine Cessna 305A crashed at Dillingham Airfield under unknown circumstances after taking off around 9:15 a.m., according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor in an email to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The plane came to rest upside down and resulted in the death of a man in his 60s and the injury of another man, also in his 60s, who was reported in critical condition.

“The FAA and NTSB will investigate,” Gregor said. “The NTSB is the lead agency and it typically takes the NTSB a year or more to determine a probable cause of an accident. Neither the FAA nor NTSB identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.”

The information was preliminary and subject to change, Gregor told the Star-Advertiser.

10:38 a.m.

Just before 9:30 a.m. today, Honolulu Emergency Medical Services responded to reports of a downed aircraft at Dillingham Airfield.

Honolulu EMS used advanced life support to treat a man in his 60s who sustained multiple traumatic injuries. EMS transported him to an emegency room in critical condition, said Honolulu EMS spokeswoman Shayne Enright in an email. Paramedics assisted another male in his 60s and pronounced him dead at the scene.

No other injuries were reported at this time.

“Early initial scene was the two patients were in a glider when it went down,” Enright said. “Further details from the scene will come from investigators.”

9:40 a.m.

One person has been confirmed dead after a single-engine plane crashed at Dillingham Airfield today just before 9:30 a.m., according to the Honolulu Fire Department.

HFD and emergency responders are on the scene. Officials did not disclose the type of aircraft nor how many people were aboard.

Dillingham Airfield has been closed until further notice, according to a 10:25 a.m. tweet from the state Department of Transportation. Federal investigators have been notified, DOT said.

On June 21 of last year, a skydiving plane crashed at Dillingham Airfield killing all 11 aboard.

The state Department of Transportation said this month that operating Dillingham Airfield “is not in the best interest of the state of Hawaii,” and is transferring it back to the Army effective July 1.


Honolulu Star-Advertiser staffers Diane S. W. Lee, Dan Nakaso, Mark Ladao and Cassie Ordonio contributed to this report.


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