HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some of the survivors of Wednesday's fatal plane crash from Kalaupapa to Honolulu are speaking out about the frightening experience.
Flip Holstein says he doesn't want to sound cavalier but he says fear never came into the picture for him. There was no time. He was focused on survival.
"I know we were going in the drink. We were way too far out to think about gliding back so I gave the seatbelt one more synch and hung on for the ride," said Flip Holstein, Action Fire Sprinklers Corp. President, who was working in Kalaupapa and was returning to Oahu.
Hollstein is used to falling from the sky. He has skydived 12,000 times in his life. But he's not used to going down in a plane crash.
"It was a bang, thud sound and then we're in a glide. There was no smoke, no fire. It got quiet after that," said Hollstein.
He says no one was panicking or screaming. The pilot skillfully glided down and hit the water the best way possible. Everyone made it out on their own. They stayed with the plane until it sank. After about 30 minutes Hollstein could barely see Molokai so he decided to swim for shore, about half a mile away.
"I was tired of hanging around, bobbing like a cork so I figured I'd head for the shoreline," said Hollstein. "I could see where I needed to be going but after an hour and a half I started having second thoughts but I figured I'm not stopping now. I could tell I was getting closer. Then all the sudden I was there."
At that time the rescuers were saving the other passengers. He says he was surprised to hear Health Director Loretta Fuddy had died because she was alive and alert when he started swimming for shore.
"I'm just sort of guessing she had a heart attack because she had inflation gear on. She was able to get out of the plane on her own," said Hollstein.
"I was thinking that is it. I am going to die out here in the ocean," said Rosa Key, crash survivor.
Rosa and Jacob Key were also on the plane and feared for the worst. But now they have a new perspective on life.
"It has opened my eyes and a reminder to have quality time with the ones you love," said Rosa Key.
"I'm thinking that's all. I'm dead. Now it's like another chance at life. A second life," said Jacob Key, crash survivor.
Hollstein and the Keys came out with just some scrapes and soreness but are otherwise completely fine. They thank all the people of Kalaupapa, the rescuers and pilots who spotted them.