Family, friends grieve loss of 'beautiful couple' killed in Molokai plane crash

Family, friends grieve loss of 'beautiful couple' killed in Molokai plane crash
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
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MOLOKAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The couple killed Sunday when their small plane crashed on Molokai are being remembered as the kind of people you'd look up to.

Family members identified the two as Bill and Lynn Vogt.

"We appreciate the love and support from everyone who knew them," the family said, in a statement. "We are grieving heavily right now and we hope people respect our privacy during this difficult time."

Lynn Vogt was a longtime teacher at Kamehameha Schools; her husband was a retired dentist who practiced in Kahala for more than 40 years.

And the two, those who knew them said, were a "beautiful couple."

"They were kind of a couple that everyone aspires to be like," said Noelani Lee, a friend. "They just fully looked like they enjoyed each other's company and they were best friends and they admired each other and they traveled the world together."

Allen Kenitzer, an FAA spokesman, said the plane crashed while inbound to the Molokai Airport. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Officials got word from the Molokai air traffic control tower about 11:15 a.m. that communication with an aircraft was lost.

Emergency crews responded to an area three to four miles west of the Molokai Airport. And just before 12:15 p.m., the crash site and wreckage was located, The Maui Fire Department said.

"When firefighters found the crash site, the aircraft was smoldering. It looks like the aircraft may have burned after impact," said Edward Taomoto, of Maui Fire Department.

Employees from Molokai Ranch assisted rescue crews by unlocking gates and allowing access to Molokai Ranch property, where the plane went down.

It is unclear if weather was a factor. But Taomoto said, "It was probably raining hard earlier because crews couldn't use the fire trucks to navigate the muddy roads, so they had to use the all terrain vehicles in order to locate the wreckage site."

Lynn Vogt taught at Kamehameha Schools from 1975 to 2002, and then returned as a substitute teacher until 2010.

Dr. Taran Chun, head of Kamehameha Schools Kapalama, said in a statement that Vogt "contributed to the success and well-being of our students and community as a researcher and teacher, and as an advisor and mentor to both keiki and colleagues."

"Her deep commitment to our haumana was evident in all she did. Our hearts, prayers and aloha go out to Lynn's family and friends. We share your loss.

Richard Medeiros had Vogt as a teacher in seventh grade.

He said Vogt put her students at ease and never stopped caring about their lives.

"I haven't had her as a teacher in over 20 years, but we still remember who she is," he said. "She was more than a teacher, she was more than a mentor. She was like a parent to a lot of us. She would check in pretty regularly see how everybody is doing. She had such an energy for life and she would love to share about what she's experiencing and what she's done."

Bill Vogt retired as dentist in Kahala and one of his former colleagues described him as "the kindest man" she knows.

The couple leaves behind four daughters and one son.

This isn't the first deadly aircraft crash on Molokai this year.

Two months ago, a chopper went down near the island with two men on board. They were identified as 27-year-old Jeremy Dossetter and 25-year-old Oliver Kirsch. They were presumed dead after the Coast Guard eventually called off the search.

In December 2016, three friends went missing and were never located after the Cessna they were traveling in dropped off radar. Wreckage was never found.

The NTSB said it is most likely the plane crashed into the ocean.

Prior to that in November 2016, prominent island attorney Gary Galiher and his female passenger was killed when their chopper crashed into the rugged Molokai Terrain.

Weather is believed to have been a factor in that crash.

And in 2011, five people were killed when a tour helicopter crashed into a hillside on Molokai's eastern side. Two newlyweds from Pennsylvania, a Canadian couple and the pilot were killed. Authorities said pilot error is to blame for the crash.

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