NTSB releases preliminary report on Lanai crash

Photo of the wreckage after a Maui Air twin-engine “Piper PA 31″ crashed on Lanai on February 26, 2014.
Photo of the wreckage after a Maui Air twin-engine “Piper PA 31″ crashed on Lanai on February 26, 2014.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a preliminary report on the deadly Lanai crash that took the lives of three people and left three others seriously injured.

The Maui County chartered plane from Maui Air crashed on Lanai Wednesday, February 26, just before 9:30 p.m. about one mile off the airport.

Note that this is a preliminary report and information may change before the final report is released.

NTSB Identification: WPR14FA124
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 26, 2014 in Lanai City, HI
Aircraft: PIPER PA 31-350, registration: N483VA
Injuries: 3 Fatal,3 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 26, 2014, about 2130 Hawaii standard time, a Piper PA-31-350, N483VA, collided with terrain shortly after departure from the Lanai Airport, Lanai City, Hawaii. The certified commercial pilot and two passengers were fatally injured and three other passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged and was partially consumed by postimpact fire. The airplane was registered to Maui Aircraft Leasing, LLC and operated by Maui Island Air under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 on demand air taxi flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a visual flight rules flight plan. The flight had a planned destination of Kahului Airport, Kahului, Hawaii.

An initial examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board, investigator-in-charge, revealed about a 640-foot-long debris field that stretched from the first identified point of contact (FIPC) to an engine component near the main wreckage. The FIPC was a ground scar that stretched about 160-feet-in-length and about 1-foot in width. Charring vegetation was observed about 100 feet down the ground scar from the FIPC and fanned out on either side of the debris path for about 260 feet; it was about 50 feet in width at its widest point. The majority of the wreckage debris was found in the last 2/3 of the debris field. The main wreckage was mostly consumed by postimpact fire.

The airplane was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

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