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Pilot escapes uninjured after single-engine plane crashes off Waianae

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 10:21 AM HST|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 4:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Authorities are investigating after a single-engine plane crashed off West Oahu after reportedly losing power on Thursday morning.

Ocean Safety, Emergency Medical Services, and Honolulu Fire Department personnel responded around 9:10 a.m.

Officials said the plane and pilot, a 57-year-old man, were in the water about 200 yards off Maili Point.

Lifeguards tried to assist the pilot to shore, but he managed to swim back on his own. He was not injured and refused treatment at the scene.

The plane, a single-engine Yakovlev Yak-52, apparently lost power and glided into the water, officials added.

Barbara Billand took her camera out to take photos of the vintage plane and when he noticed the craft descending rapidly.

“I was doing my regular walk and it looked like something was wrong,” she said.

“And I thought, he’s going to land! How would he? The roads are busy, the park is small, and he chose the water.”

The plane landed near Stan Livingood, who was surfing at the time. He paddled out to help.

“I said get out, get out!” Livingood said. “He is pretty calm and he got out. He stood on the edge of the plane and he kind of looked like that was his baby that he was losing.”

Livingood said paddleboarders and others came to help the pilot to shore.

“The pilot was actually making his way under his own power to shore,” said Craig Uchimura, a battalion chief with HFD. “We checked him out, no medical treatment was needed.”

“This could have been really really bad,” said Mac Hall, lieutenant for Ocean Safety. “Thankfully, he dodged people, he dodged everything, and he landed safely.”

The FAA is currently investigating the incident. And the US Coast guard will be working with the pilot on salvaging the plane.

This story will be updated.

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