History of Piper Chieftain airplane accidents - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

History of Piper Chieftain airplane accidents

The Lanai plane crash that killed three people Wednesday night was the fifth fatal accident involving that aircraft model since the 1980s. 

But experts said the Piper Chieftain has a proven track record here and is widely used in Hawaii.

"The Piper Chieftain is a very, very reliable platform that's used by tour companies, charter companies and cargo companies around the nation and the world," said George Hanzawa, owner of George's Aviation.

According to a National Transportation Safety Board database, the Piper Chieftain was involved in some of the state's most deadly crashes.

In September 1999, a sightseeing tour operated by Big Island Air crashed into the Mauna Loa volcano, killing the pilot and all nine passengers.

And in December 1987, a Molokai-bound plane from Honolulu flown by Panorama Air Tours lost its left engine and crashed into the ocean. eight people were killed.

According to the NTSB's database, Maui Air did not have an accident prior to the Lanai crash.

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