Hawaii News

Coast Guard suspends active search for missing Hawai‘i Life Flight aircraft

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The search for a Hawai‘i Life Flight aircraft that went missing in waters of the ʻAlenuihāhā Channel between Maui and the Big Island has ended.

Image courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday suspended the active search for the missing aircrew, nearly two days after the flight departed from Kahului, Maui, headed for the Waimea-Kohala Airport on the Big Island.

“Working with U.S. Coast Guard assets, the Hawai’i Wing Civil Air Patrol and the Coast Guard Auxiliary, our team conducted a total of 28 searches over the course of 67 hours, covering over 4,732 square nautical miles,” said Jennifer Conklin, the Coast Guard District 14 Search and Rescue Program Manager, in a press release. “While it is not an easy decision, we have suspended the active search pending any further new information.”

At about 9:10 p.m. Dec. 15, watchstanders at Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received a report from the Honolulu Control Facility of a downed Hawai‘i Life Flight aircraft 16 miles south of Hana with three crewmembers on board.


Multiple aircrews from Air Station Barbers Point on O‘ahu were deployed immediately after the notification and the Coast Guard Cutter William Hart was diverted to join in the search.

Involved in the search were:

  • Multiple Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrews.
  • Multiple Air Station Barbers Point C-130J Hercules aircrews.
  • Multiple Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews.
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Hart (WPC 1134).
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrews.
  • Aircrews from the Hawaii Wing Civil Air Patrol.


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