Family, former aviation colleagues remember 2 killed in Mokuleia plane crash

Published: Feb. 24, 2020 at 7:05 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Airlines, the former company of a pilot who was killed in Saturday’s Mokuleia plane crash, is remembering one of the victim’s lives for his dedication and passion for flying.

The company identified one of the two victims killed as Rick Rogers. He retired as a pilot from Hawaiian Airlines in 2010 and later served as an archivist for the company’s aviation history.

In a statement released Sunday, a spokeswoman said he started his career with the company in 1987 as a Dash 7 pilot, and served the smaller airfields around the islands.

“Rick was a unique and wonderful person and pleasure to know,” said Ann Botticelli, who leads the Corporate Communications group with whom Rick worked most closely since 2010.

“He had endless curiosity and an abundance of ideas about how to tell our company’s history. He curated our archives with care and loved to share what he knew. He was a passionate protector of history, an aviation enthusiast, an author, and a marine archaeologist. In short, he was a renaissance man and all of us were very lucky to have spent time with him,” Botticelli added.

Federal investigators are working to piece together more details on the factors of Saturday’s deadly crash that killed Rogers and one other.

Meanwhile, family members of the second victim have identified him as William ‘Bill’ Enoka.

They released a statement Sunday saying, “Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude for the condolences love and prayers. We ask for continued prayers to guide us through this difficult time. We know that our dad is in a better place and left this earth doing what he loved to do.”

Enoka’s family says he retired from Kauai Fire Department and was a lieutenant colonel in the civil air patrol.

The Office of the Medical Examiner is expected to release additional details Monday.

Those at Dillingham Airfield who knew Rogers and Enoka say both men were very experienced pilots and they're devastated.

“Everybody who know them both, they can’t believe it that that happened because Rick Rogers have thousands and thousands of hours. Bill Enoka, the same way,” said Suzy Gromacki, owner of North Shore Aircraft Leasing.

She says the two men had flown together multiple times and Rogers was being trained by Enoka on this particular tow plane.

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