NTSB: Pilot error to blame for deadly plane crash in Waipio 1 year ago

NTSB: Pilot error to blame for deadly plane crash in Waipio 1 year ago

WAIPIO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The National Transportation Safety Board says pilot error is to blame for a plane crash that killed four people in the mountains above Waipio almost a year ago.

In its final report released Wednesday, the NTSB said the 29-year-old pilot made the decision to fly at a low altitude and close to the mountain, which likely contributed to the crash.

The Beech 19A fixed wing single-engine aircraft, with tail number N6142, crashed in the remote mountains almost a year ago, on July 28.

The single-engine plane was also more than 60 pounds over its weight limit when it took off, the report said, and it did not have any mechanical issues.

According to the report, the pilot made three 360-degree loops before crashing into the mountains at the remote Pohakea Pass -- 15 minutes after taking off from the Honolulu airport.

A witness told NTSB that the plane was flying "very low" and saw that the plane was making a turn. That's when it went out of view and he heard a "boom" followed by silence.

The wreckage was found – with all parts located in the same vicinity -- in the mountain range between Waipio and Schofield Barracks. Investigators said they couldn't get to the site until just two months ago because of its remote location.

Four people died in the crash, including Gerrit Evensen, his girlfriend Heather Riley, Alexis Aaron, and pilot Dean Hutton.

Aircraft Maintenance Hawaii owner Jahn Mueller, who rented out the aircraft, also owned another plane that went down under the Moanalua Freeway last year, injuring three men.

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