Pilot, passenger in Kauai deadly plane crash identified

Photo: Kauai County

Kauai County has identified the pilot and passenger killed in Tuesday’s light sport aircraft crash in Waiakamoo Valley in Polihale.

The pilot was Gerry Charlebois, 54, of Kapahi, Kauai, and the passenger was Mark McKenzie, 53, of Pickering, Ontario, Canada.

The aircraft was owned by Birds in Paradise, a powered hang gliding company that operates out of Port Allen Airport in Hanapepe. According to its website, Charlebois founded the company in 1990. He was an FAA-certified flight instructor, an FAA-certified mechanic and a certified Rotax aircraft engine technician.

Officials say the aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances on the side of a mountain near Polihale Beach at around 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 11. Kauai police were notified of a fire and, upon investigation, realized the fire was a result of an ultralight crash.

Kauai police is investigating the incident, along with personnel from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board in Honolulu.

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