2 small planes ditch into sea off Hawaii; all aboard survive
Published January 26, 2015
Two small planes ran out of fuel and crash-landed into the Pacific Ocean off Hawaii, but the five people aboard both aircraft survived, authorities said.
The Coast Guard says the separate incidents Sunday involved a single-engine plane carrying a solo pilot about 250 miles off the island of Maui, and another with four people aboard several miles off the island of Oahu.
A pilot traveling from Tracy, California, to Maui radioed authorities at 12:30 p.m. about plans to ditch a Cirrus SR-22 aircraft because of dwindling fuel.
The Coast Guard directed the plane to go down near a cruise ship, and the pilot deployed a parachute system around 4:45 p.m. and safely got into a life raft. Amid 9- to 12-foot seas and winds of 25 to 28 mph, the cruise-ship crew rescued the pilot, who was in good condition, authorities said.
Coast Guard video shows the plane releasing its parachute and briefly dropping nose-first before leveling out and plopping into the sea. The pilot escapes out the top of the aircraft and drifts away in a small raft from the plane before it rolls over on its top.
In a second crash Sunday, a single-engine Cessna flying from Kauai to Oahu with four aboard declared an emergency at 6:18 p.m., saying fuel was running low and the plane may need to ditch, the Coast Guard said.
It crash-landed about 11 miles west of Oahu, and a Coast Guard helicopter hoisted three adults and one child. All four received emergency treatment, but their conditions weren't immediately available.