KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - The two pilots who escaped with minor injuries after their plane crashed off Kona earlier this month were forced to ditch in the ocean after losing power in both of their engines.
That's according to a preliminary report on the accident from the National Transportation Safety Board.
The report says the pair's Piper PA-23 aircraft experienced engine trouble while cruising at 5,500 feet on July 14. The two descended to 3,500 feet, and the engines appeared to "smooth out" briefly, the report said.
But then, the right engine lost power and, within a few minutes, so did the left engine.
Pilots David McMahon and Sydnie Uemoto took off from Kapolei, and were headed to Kona when they were forced to ditch in the water.
A massive search for the two started about 3:15 p.m., and they were found the following day about noon. During their nearly 20 hours at sea, the two clung to life vests and swam toward shore.
Their survival story captured headlines nationally.