Makani Kai Air Cessna makes a hard landing at Kalaupapa airport

Makani Kai Air Cessna makes a hard landing at Kalaupapa
Published: Mar. 11, 2017 at 9:05 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 12, 2017 at 8:10 AM HST
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(Image: Shannon Crivello)
(Image: Shannon Crivello)

KALAUPAPA, MOLOKAI (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - Federal investigators are looking into what caused a mishap for a small plane on Molokai.

The president of Makani Kai Air said another pilot's mistake led to the hard landing for his company's Cessna on Saturday. The nine passengers and the pilot all escaped without any injuries.

The president of Makani Kai Air, Richard Schuman, said the flight from Oahu to Kalaupapa was on final approach around 8:30 a.m on Saturday. The pilot had received the all clear from another aircraft that was on the runway, according to him.

"So she said, 'You are clear of the runway?' and the other aircraft said, 'Yes.' Then she started to touch down and she noticed the airplane was on the runway coming towards her," Schuman said.

There is no air traffic controller at Kalaupapa's tiny airport so the pilots communicate with each other.

"It's a little different in regards to communication there, but all pilots in the vicinity or the airspace around that area have the capability of communicating with other pilots," said Amy Sakurada

Schuman said when his pilot made a last-minute maneuver to avoid the other aircraft, the wing of the Cessna 208 Caravan may have hit the runway. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane had its gear collapse after a hard landing and then went off the runway.

"There was an aircraft on the runway that wasn't supposed to be there. My airplane was trying to avoid it. Now we know what happened, we don't know why they were there. When you get a hold of those guys you'll find out," Schuman said.

According to Schuman, the instructor and student pilot on the other plane walked away after unsuccessfully trying to take off.

"After the accident, that plane came up to the site, turned around, tried to take off, the runway was too short so he stopped. The state workers are on the radio telling him you can't take off you almost caused an accident," he said.

FAA officials said they've heard that another plane was at the end of the runway, but it is undetermined at this time if it had an impact. 

Schuman said the plane is unable to fly due to damage to its wing, propeller and nose.

In early February, a Makani Kai aircraft nearly crossed paths with a Hawaiian Airlines plane at the Kahului airport. It was a close call that the FAA looked in to. No word on the status of that investigation.

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