We’re learning new information about the plane involved in the crash that killed four people near Kunia.
The Beech 19 aircraft took off at 6:37 p.m. Friday for a sunset flight and never returned.
The U.S. Coast Guard was notified around 10 a.m. Saturday that the plane never made it back.
“We got a call from the Honolulu Control Facility asking if we had heard of any emergency locating transmitters from any of our aircraft that might’ve been up during the day. Those are on the plane and if it’s turned on, then other aircraft are able to get the transmitted signal and it gives you a location,” said Petty Ofc. 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur.
The wreckage was found that afternoon near the Kunia farm lots.
The family of Alexis Aaron confirmed to KHON2 she is one of the victims. Families have not confirmed the identities of the other three victims to us.
The plane’s owner, Jahn Mueller of Aircraft Maintenance and Flight School Hawaii, says he’s deeply saddened by what happened.
He said he doesn’t want to speculate on a cause, however we also learned that the plane experienced mechanical issues in the past.
No one was at the school when we stopped by, but Mueller sent a statement that said: “I knew Dean and he loved flying and had many hours in that plane. He had an alternator problem several flights ago and handled it like a professional. The aircraft was repaired and has had no further issues since.”
The Federal Aviation Administration told KHON2 the aircraft did not file a flight plan, nor was it required to.
Mark Jones, chief pilot and owner of Moore Air, said that’s not uncommon.
“Generally people will do that if they’re going to go island to island. It’s rare that they’re going to do that if they’re just flying over Oahu,” Jones said.
It’s not yet clear who first reported the plane missing or when.
Moore Air says its instructors will keep an eye out for returning flights, but it’s common practice with regular pilots to give them 24/7 access to the aircraft log books and keys.
“It could happen, we would be aware of it in the morning,” Jones said. “We have folks flying late into the evening down to Kona or Hilo or someplace and if it’s very late, there is no check. We just check the books in the morning to make sure the airplane forms are back, which would indicate that they got back.”
The Coast Guard and Moore Air both said it’s good practice for all pilots to let someone know where you’re going any time you fly.
The wreckage is still on the mountain and the National Transportation Safety Board says it won’t respond until the wreckage is recovered:
“The NTSB is investigating the accident in Hawaii. The site of the accident is in very rugged terrain and the aircraft has to be recovered. The NTSB is not doing the actual recovery. It is possible the local authorities may be involved. As of now, no one from the NTSB plans to respond until the wreckage is recovered. It is possible a status on the investigation may be available tomorrow.”
We’re told the owner is responsible for removing it from the site.
Mueller is the same owner of the plane that crashed in Mapunapuna on Friday, June 30.
Three people were on board that plane when it went down underneath the Moanalua Freeway bridge before bursting into flames.
A preliminary report from the NTSB a little more than two weeks ago showed the Piper Cherokee also left Daniel K. Inouye International Airport without a flight plan filed.
Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported that the engine lost power about 300 feet above the ground.
All three men escaped with help from Good Samaritans. They suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.