|Dean Hutton, the dead pilot|
|Gerrit Evensen, and his girlfriend Heather Riley - both died|
|Alexis Aaron, dead|
|Gerrit Evensen, and his girlfriend Heather Riley - both dead|
Owner of downed plane issues statement after crash
Updated: July 30, 2017
By Diane Ako
The owner of the downed Beech 19A found Saturday afternoon above the Kunia Loa ridge farmlands speaks for the first time. Fire officials found the wreckage of plane, with tail number N6142N, and say all four people on board had died.
The group had rented the plane from Aircraft Maintenance & Flight School Hawaii, owned by Jahn Mueller. FAA records show the plane is registered to Mueller, who issued this statement Sunday morning:
"I am deeply saddened by this tragic event and my prayers go out to all affected. I don't want to speculate on the cause of this accident as that will be determined by professionals in due time. I knew Dean and he loved flying and had many hours in that airplane. He had an alternator issue several flights ago, and he handled it like a professional, and the aircraft was repaired and returned to service."
The National Transportation Safety Board now takes over the investigation.
Small planes continue to crash and take lives, especially the old ones. This was a 1969 plane. Mountain weather is also treacherous. When you look for trouble, I guess you will eventually find it. RIP.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Four bodies were recovered Saturday from the wreckage of a single-engine plane crash on a remote mountainside above Kunia.
The Beech 19A fixed wing single-engine aircraft, with tail number N6142N, went missing on Friday evening, though the search didn't begin until 10 a.m. Saturday. The craft was found about 3:20 p.m. in an area inaccessible by vehicles.
Friends and family identified the four in the plane as Gerrit Evensen, his girlfriend Heather Riley, Alexis Aaron, and pilot Dean Hutton.
Authorities said the wreckage was found above the Kunia Loa ridge farmlands.
Just before 5:45 p.m. Saturday, the Honolulu Fire Department's Air One helicopter recovered the body of the first victim. All four bodies have since been transferred off the site.
Honolulu Fire Department Battalion Chief Craig Uchimura said three of the victims were found inside the downed plane, while one was found outside.
"The wreckage was in an area that was very remote and inaccessible by vehicle," Uchimura said. "Our rescue personnel had to repel off our Air One helicopter to be inserted on the mountainside. It's pretty treacherous up there."
Family, friends remember those lost
At a staging area at Hawaii Country Club on Saturday, family and friends of the victims were overcome with grief.
Lealyn Toponi, who was friends with three of the victims, said she was supposed to be on the downed plane.
"Alexis asked my boyfriend and I to go on the plane with them on Friday and we weren't able to make it. And so Heather and Gerrit were asked to take our place," she said. "They were just very open and loving people that were just leaders. They were the kind of people that inspired you to try anything."
Evensen, 28, was a graduate of Punahou School. Riley was 27.
Riley's mother said she had been informed of her daughter's death, but declined comment.
The FAA said the aircraft last communicated with air traffic controllers around 6:37 p.m. Friday. At that point, the plane was reportedly near Kaena Point.
Owner of plane linked to crash in June
The plane took off from Honolulu's airport on Friday, and it wasn't clear why the plane wasn't reported missing until Saturday morning.
Officials also said the aircraft diverted from its original flight path.
The plane is registered to Jahn Mueller, who confirmed to Hawaii News Now on Saturday that he owns the aircraft.
In a bizarre twist, Mueller also owned the single-engine, fixed wing Piper PA-28 that crashed June 30 into a stream just shy of Moanalua Gardens. The pilot and two passengers were seriously injured in that crash.
A preliminary NTSB report said the plane had lost engine power shortly after takeoff.
Mueller declined to comment on Saturday's crash, and officials did not speculate what may have gone wrong.
An uncle of the pilot in Saturday's crash said the plane might have had maintenance issues. The uncle said Hutton knew about the issues, but decided to fly it anyway. He didn't say what the issues were, however.
A spokeswoman said the four killed in the crash were friends of Lyssa Chapman, of TV's "Dog the Bounty Hunter" fame, and that their car was recovered Friday night on Lagoon Drive.
"The families are also asking for your prayers," spokeswoman Mona Wood-Sword said, in a statement.
Officials confirm 4 bodies found near wreckage of small plane near Makakilo
Updated: July 29, 2017, 10:17 pm
The bodies of four people, two men and two women, were recovered from the scene of a plane crash Saturday afternoon.
The small, private plane, with tail number N6142N, was reported missing Friday night with four passengers on board.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that a Beech 19 aircraft using visual flight rules (VFR) from Honolulu last communicated with air traffic control at 6:37 p.m. Friday.
The U.S. Coast Guard located the wreckage at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday in a mountainous area above the Kunia farm lots.
There’s no word on how long it might have been there or what condition it’s currently in.
Crews set up a staging area at Hawaii Country Club in Wahiawa. A helicopter retrieved the bodies and brought them back to the area. The wreckage itself has yet to be recovered.
“In this case it’s a very remote area, our rescue personnel had to repel off of our Air 1 helicopter to be inserted into the mountainside,” said Craig Uchimura, Honolulu Fire Department battalion chief. “It’s pretty treacherous up there. We’d be unable to get up there by vehicle, much less by foot. The rescue personnel did not report having any fuel or signs of fire at this time.”
HFD said the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will take over the investigation. Dean Hutton (Photo: Lyssa Chapman)
A spokesperson for Lyssa Chapman, from “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” said in a press release that the plane was piloted by Dean Hutton with passengers Gerrit Evenson, Heather Riley, and Alexis Aaron. Evenson is a friend of Chapman.
The group was on a round robin pleasure flight, and their car was found on Lagoon Drive.
Chapman and Evenson’s sister Lei Evenson asks anyone who may have noticed anything off the waters of West Oahu last night to contact the police or Coast Guard.
“I’m understanding that this aircraft went out yesterday, but we didn’t find out about it until today because no one knew they were missing, and the owner of the aircraft said they never checked in yesterday. So we found out about it today. So it’s been 24 hours, I’m just guessing now. It’s been a while, they’ve been out there a while,” said Lt. Commander Ron Green, U.S. Coast Guard. “File a flight plan. File a float plan. Let somebody know where you’re going, so that if you do go missing, we don’t have to wait for the alarm.” Heather Riley and Gerrit Evensen (Photo: Lyssa Chapman) =========================
Type: Beech 19A Musketeer Sport
C/n / msn: MB-413
Fatalities: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: Kunia Loa Ridge Farmlands NNE of Makakilo, HI - United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport: Honolulu Int'l (PHNL)
The aircraft impacted mountainous terrain mauka Makakilo, Oahu, Hawaii. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the four occupants onboard received fatal injuries.
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