Plane lost power before Līhu‘e Airport crash
The single-engine aircraft that crashed at Līhu‘e Airport in mid-December lost power shortly before it collided with a fence after takeoff.
The revelation comes from a preliminary report filed by the National Transportation Safety Board, which states the plane’s pilot – reportedly a member of the Civil Air Patrol joined by his young son – described a lack of power to the control tower before his Beechcraft Model 77 Skipper descended into a fence at the edge of the airport property. (The aircraft’s make was misidentified in initial reports.)
“The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, and fuselage,” the NTSB report reads. “A post-accident examination of the engine is pending recovery of the airplane.”
The pilot, whose identity is not divulged in the report, sustained serious injuries. His sole passenger sustained minor injuries. Both were transported to Wilcox Medical Center in Līhu‘e immediately following the accident, which did not impact other airport operations at the time.
The Dec. 15 crash on Līhu‘e occurred the same day a Hawai’i Life Flight aircraft traveling to Hawai‘i Island crashed into the Maui Channel off the coast of Kaupo. All three onboard were killed.
Lt. Col. James (Jim) Degman and Capt. David Parker, both Civil Air Patrol pilots with the Kaua’i Composite Squadron, were killed in March 2022 when their Cessna 172 crashed into mountainous terrain on the Na Pali Coast during a flying exercise.