Hawaii Air Ambulance Voluntarily Grounds Flights - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Air Ambulance Voluntarily Grounds Flights

Andy Kluger, CEO of Hawaii Air Ambulance Andy Kluger, CEO of Hawaii Air Ambulance

(KHNL)  Hawaii Air Ambulance is grounding its fleet a little longer than expected. It follows last week's fatal flight that killed three Air Ambulance employees on Maui.

"People are nervous and I don't blame them," said Andy Kluger, CEO of Hawaii Air Ambulance.

Kluger wants to quell the fears spreading through the medical community.

"Basically the decision we made is we don't want anyone on the plane who feels uncomfortable," he said.

This is after Wednesday's crash on Maui that killed everyone on board: the pilot, medic and nurse. The company Monday voluntarily grounded its fleet of four planes.

Air Ambulance was scheduled to conduct test flights Monday, but Kluger changed his mind.  An independent inspector will go through every component of the aircraft.

"We decided that rather than rush through to get the planes up right away faster, that they should take their time carefully, it may take several more days, but it's more important to make sure every aspect of their inspection is done properly, it's like an annual inspection," said Kluger.

According to Hawaii Air Ambulance officials, the planes are basically ready to fly because they meet all FAA regulations. These voluntary inspections are just one more step in ensuring the safety of these planes.

Kluger says whatever happened on last week's flight, occurred in the last three minutes before the plane crashed into a car dealership lot.

The National Transportation Safety Board is also meeting with the company and is conducting its own report.

The voluntary inspections should take a couple of days, then Air Ambulance will conduct test flights with the planes and hopes to start servicing patients by next week.

In the meantime, the U.S. Coast Guard is assisting the company, helping to transport 23 people on nine flights since last week.

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