NTSB releases cause of 2016 plane crash on Kauai that killed 5

NTSB releases cause of 2016 plane crash on Kauai that killed 5
Updated: Nov. 19, 2017 at 5:22 PM HST
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(Image: NTSB)
(Image: NTSB)

HANAPEPE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dramatic video recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the skydiving plane crash on Kauai that killed all five people on board last May.

The NTSB said a security camera located about mile northeast of the Port Allen Airport in Hanapepe captured the Cessna 182H rapidly descending nose first before a fiery explosion on the ground just outside the airport.

The final investigation revealed the defining event in the crash was a "loss of control in flight."

"That loss of control took place because an engine failed and the pilot was trying to return the airplane to the airport and likely didn't have enough altitude to be able to do it," said aviation expert Peter Forman.

The plane was on a skydiving tour on May 23, 2016 with Skydive Kauai.

The NTSB said an engine examination found no evidence of any pre-existing mechanical malfunction.

The pilot, 30-year-old Damien Horan, had logged a total of 321 flight hours.

He died in the crash along with skydive instructors Wayne Rose and Enzo Amitrano and two brothers, Phillip and Marshall Cabe of Oklahoma.

They were going skydiving as a college graduation gift from their father.

The NTSB said four heavily damaged GoPros that belonged to the skydive instructors were pertinent to the investigation.

GoPro video showed the plane crashed about 33 seconds from takeoff and audio from the video revealed the final conversation between the brothers and the instructors before the plane went down.

"Oh my god" were the last words recorded.

"This accident is actually an all too common type of accident," said Forman.

The FAA suggests that if an engine failure occurs on takeoff, the pilot should establish a proper glide altitude and find a landing area straight ahead with only small changes in direction.

Forman said companies should invest in flight simulation training devices.

"As a former airline pilot, I can tell you that the type of training at airlines is far superior than what you have in light airplane flying," said Forman. "The use of inexpensive simulation devices would allow this type of emergency to be practiced until perfected."

Last year, the parents of the Cabe brothers sued the owner of the aircraft, David Timko of D&J Air Adventures, Inc. The civil case is still pending.

Our calls to Skydive Kauai were not answered on Sunday.

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