New details on passengers on board crashed plane in Hilo - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New details on passengers on board crashed plane in Hilo

Dale Scharpenberg, instructor pilot Dale Scharpenberg, instructor pilot
HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii News Now has new details about the Big Island plane crash that sent three people to the hospital Tuesday.

A man says his friend, Dale Scharpenberg, was the instructor pilot on board when the small plane went down at the Hilo International Airport right before 2:00 p.m.

He says Scharpenberg is an extremely experienced pilot who has thousands of hours of flight experience.

Others who know him and who work at airport say Scharpenberg has taken off from the runway numerous times before.

But on Tuesday afternoon, something went dramatically wrong.

"Just at 2 o'clock...I just heard a big bang!" said Jacob Kiko, who lives near the airport.

Department of Transportation officials say the single-engine Cessna 172 crashed moments after take-off and landed right inside the fence line at the airport in a grassy area.

Scharpenberg's friend, who is also a pilot, says there were two students on board when it crashed. Two people in the plane were critically injured. They were flown to Queens Medical Center on Oahu, while the other was taken to Hilo Medical Center.

According to Scharpenberg's Facebook page, his first solo flight was back in 1968.  Reviews online for Iolani Air Tour Co. show he is a great pilot.

Two years ago, Scharpenberg was recognized by the FAA as a prestigious airman.

Aviation records show the plane is 42 years old and is registered to Barlow Aviation LLC in Honolulu.

The FAA and NTSB are currently investigating the cause of the crash.

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