Plane makes forced landing on Molokai, 4 rescued - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Plane makes forced landing on Molokai, 4 rescued

EAST MOLOKAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A hard landing in a remote area on Molokai has sent four to the hospital.

Pilot Michael Richards and three passengers were flying at 3,000 feet over Halawa Valley when their Cessna Skyhawk lost its only engine,.

"It could have been much worse. It's a miracle that they had a place where they could put that plane down without killing themselves," said Valerie Richards, the pilot's mother.

"That poor baby didn't have a place to land. It was steep terrain, heavily wooded and there was no smooth place to go."

Richards and two of the passengers -- a father and daughter from Japan-- were treated at Molokai General for minor injuries. A third -- the mother -- suffered more serious injuries and was sent to Maui Memorial.

It's not Richard's first hard landing. He and a student were forced to land in a field near the Waipio Costco when the engine gave out. He also had a hard landing on Lanai in 2007. No one was injured in either instance.

"I do have experience with this ... I'm not a foreigner to this scenario," the pilot told Hawaii News Now in June.

FAA officials will now investigate this hard landing. And Richards plans to be back up and flying again soon.

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