Two men, believed to be in their 60s and 70s, died Saturday after the plane they were flying in crashed at Dillingham Airfield on the North Shore of Oahu, county officials said.

Early county reports said it was a glider, but it was a 1979 single-engine Cessna.

The medical examiner’s office is working to identify and notify the victims’ family members, according to a spokesman from the mayor’s office.

Honolulu emergency crews responded just before 9:30 a.m. They treated a male with multiple traumatic injuries with advanced life support treatment and transported him to an emergency room in critical condition. He was believed to be 78 years old.

At the same scene, paramedics assisted with a death pronouncement of second male, approximately in his 60s, according to Shayne Enright of theHonolulu Emergency Services Department.

No other injuries were reported at this time, she said.

The early initial scene was the two patients were in a glider when it went down, she said. Further details from the scene will come from investigators.

In June, 11 people died when a twin engine Beechcraft King Air skydiving plane operated by Oahu Parachute Company crashed moments after takeoff at Dillingham Airfield. It was the worst U.S. civil aviation accident since 2011.

Senator Brian Schatz in Washington DC office4. 19 jan 2017
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, pictured, and Congressman Ed Case called on the FAA to take action. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

In a statement Saturday, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz called on the Federal Aviation Administration and state Department of Transportation to shut down the airfield until they can guarantee safety of operations at Dillingham.

“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,” Schatz said.

Congressman Ed Case said in a statement Saturday that it’s “unbelievable” that Hawaii has suffered a fourth fatal
tragedy involving a tour helicopter or small aircraft in less than a year.

“While it will probably be more than a year until officials are able to determine the cause of this crash, the Federal Aviation Administration cannot treat this as an isolated incident as it did with the previous three, but must immediately ask itself the hard question it has thus far avoided of whether existing tour helicopter/small aircraft regulations are simply inadequate to protect the safety of those in the aircraft and of the over one million of us that they fly over every day,” Case said.

Before you go

Civil Beat is a small nonprofit newsroom that provides free content with no paywall. That means readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism.
 
The truth is that less than 1% of our monthly readers are financial supporters. To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.
 
Will you consider becoming a new donor today?

About the Author