At about 7pm this evening a Cessna 208B commuter aircraft operated by Mokulele Airlines made an emergency landing on Pi’ilani Highway in Wailea near the Kilohana intersection. According to this Maui News story, the plane’s eight passengers and two pilots were all safe and accounted for.
Most of the photos published of the plane (including the one I took) showed emergency personnel standing in front of the plane’s tail or “N” number. But this photo posted on Maui Now’s Facebook page clearly shows the aircraft’s N Number as N861MA.
National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) online records show that in 2009, that particular Mokulele Airlines aircraft was previously involved in a nonfatal (and slightly comical) accident on Molokai. According to this NTSB incident report, on Oct. 15, 2009, that plane “sustained substantial damage when the airplane’s tail impacted the ground during the passenger boarding process at the Molokai Airport, Kaunakakai, Hawaii.”
The problem, states the NTSB report, was that “the director of operations reported that after the passengers were boarded, the second-in-command (SIC) pilot noted a discrepancy in the load manifest. The SIC communicated the error to the ramp agent who then opened the aft door and boarded the airplane with the passengers still on board. The airplane subsequently ’tilted downward’ and the tail struck the tarmac.”
According to the NTSB report, “Review of post-accident photos of the airplane revealed structural damage to an aft bulkhead (FS 427.88) and the tail tie down assembly. On October 21, 2009, a Major Repair and Alteration Form 337 was submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration detailing the repairs to the airplane.”
The NTSB report also states that in that 2009 accident, none of the aircraft’s pilots or five passengers were injured.
Photo: Anthony Pignataro
Additional research by Angela Thompson