Engines removed from crash wreckage, rain could delay investigation

Federal officials to move Lanai crash wreckage, continue investigation

Federal officials with the National Transportation Safety Board moved both engines from the wreckage on Lanai to Maui where the investigation continues into a deadly plane crash.

Two NTSB investigators from California will examine the engines and debris from the wreckage to figure out what caused the twin-engine Piper to go down.

The chartered flight carrying five Maui County employees, crashed moments after attempting to take off from the Lanai airport.  Two Maui County officials and the plane's pilot were killed, two other employees were critically injured, and a sixth person suffered serious injuries.

The three survivors of the crash were airlifted to the Queen's Medical Center on Oahu for emergency medical attention.  Their conditions, a Maui County spokesperson said Friday morning, were not expected to worsen.

Those survivors could have a key role in the investigation because they can reveal any sounds or issues the plane may have been experiencing before it went down.

"It's always helpful to have witnesses to talk to," says Peter Knudson of the NTSB, "But there's no silver bullet, there's no one thing that will tell the entire story of what happened so we really look at everything and piece things together that way."

The plane did not have black box recorders and no other recording devices were found.

The NTSB says the debris field was 500 feet long.  They were hoping to clear the area by Saturday but rain moved into the area and removal may not be done until Monday.

The federal agency hopes to complete a preliminary report on the crash within two weeks.

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