Small plane makes emergency landing in Waipio pineapple field
WAIPIO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A small plane made a controlled emergency landing in a field near the H-2 Freeway's Ka Uka Boulevard off-ramp at around 7:10 p.m. on Tuesday.
According to the FAA, the Cessna 172 owned by Moore Air, Inc. was being flown by a flight instructor with a student onboard when they experienced engine trouble at around 2,000 feet.
"Well, it's definitely an elevation of heart rate," said Michael Richards, the flight instructor who safely put the plane down in the field. "It's not something that you expect but it can happen."
Richards was able to make the emergency landing in a former pineapple field on the north side of Costco in Waipio.
There were no reported injuries, and the plane did not suffer significant damage.
"Well, it's a great lesson, I tell you," said Bruce Hamilton, the student pilot. "I really enjoyed it because I got to see firsthand how soft-field landings work in an emergency."
"It's one of those calls you hope to never get," said Mark Jones, the owner of the company.
Jones is also the chief pilot at the flying school and has 46 years of flying experience.
"My first question was, 'How are they?' Airplanes are things, they can be replaced," Jones said.
This isn't the only time a pilot flying this exact aircraft had a close call.
"This airplane has been through some tough times," said Jones tapping one of the plane's wings.
In 2012, a student pilot was flying solo. She said she made a hard landing at the Honolulu International Airport, bounced twice, the plane veered off the runway and struck a runway sign. No injuries were reported.
"One could expect it would never happen in their flying career. Having said that, we always train for it, we always practice for it because we always train for the worst case scenario," Jones said.
A mechanic inspected the plane in Waipio Wednesday afternoon.
The next step is getting the aircraft off of the field. Jones said there is no timeline on when that will be.
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