NTSB releases final report on December 2016 Cessna crash near Molokai

NTSB releases final report on December 2016 Cessna crash near Molokai

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The National Transportation Safety Board released their final accident report of a Cessna that went missing near Molokai in December 2016 with three friends on board.

Rescue crews were never able to locate the plane or those on board, leaving investigators unable to determine what caused the aircraft to go down.

In the detailed report, the NTSB says the plane crashed into waters about 1.5 nautical miles of the Molokai shoreline just before 7 p.m. on Dec. 30.

The 26-year-old pilot identified as Michael Childers brought his two friends aboard, Whitney Thomas and John Mizuno — all Oahu residents. The trio was en route back to Honolulu from Molokai when air traffic controllers lost contact with the single-engine plane.

At 7:13 p.m., the FAA issued a notice that the plane was missing.

The U.S. Coast Guard initiated search and rescue operations, but they were unsuccessful. The search was called off four days later on Jan. 2, 2017.

A close friend of those on board, Elan Cragin, told Hawaii News Now in Janurary how passionate Childers was about flying.

"It was a dream come true of his ever since he was a little kid he wanted to become a pilot," Cragin said.

Records show Childers logged a total of 73 flight hours.

The report also detailed rainy weather conditions on the east side of the island at the time the chopper went down, but it is unclear if weather was a contributing factor.

The Cessna 172M was manufactured in 1973 and registered to Yamataka Kumiko and operated by Lani Lea Sky Tours LLC., the report said.

The final report was released a few weeks ago in early September.

Read the full report below:

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