On Wednesday December 11, 2013, a Cessna Grand Caravan C208, operated by Makani Kai Air, crashed in the ocean about three hundred yards off the coast while heading from Molokai to Oahu (N687MA, registered to LEIS Air LLC of Honolulu, Hawaii, Source: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N687MA). One passenger, Hawaii Health Director, Loretta Fuddy, was killed. Early reports suggest she did not make it out of the plane’s fuselage. The seven other passengers and the pilot were all injured. A swift Coast Guard response led to rescue and treatment for the eight injured persons. “Among the other passengers, three patients were flown to Oahu for treatment; two declined treatment and are staying in Kalaupapa, while three other patients were taken to Molokai General for treatment, according to Maui fire officials.” (Source: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/24200011/breaking-hawaii-health-director-killed-in-molokai-plane-crash).
“The owner of an airline that operated a plane that crashed in Hawaii waters and killed the director of the state health department says the crash was caused by engine failure. Owner Richard Schuman of Makani Kai Air said Thursday that the pilot did the best he could to get the small plane carrying nine people down safely and keep them together in the ocean off of Molokai. Schuman spoke in a live interview on KITV4 Morning News. He said officials know what happened but not why.” (Source: http://www.kitv.com/news/hawaii/makani-kai-owner-plane-experienced-catastrophic-engine-failure/-/8905354/23453510/-/14qfjjj/-/index.html).
“Records show the Cessna in the crash was built in 2002 and had a valid operating certificate. It was one of two planes operated by Makani Kai since it took over flying to Kalaupapa nearly three years ago. The company said it had never had an accident in its more than 20-year history.” (Source: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/24200011/breaking-hawaii-health-director-killed-in-molokai-plane-crash).
We at Pilot Law extend our sympathies and condolences to the victims of this crash and specifically to Ms. Fuddy’s family. We have a lot of experience in handling cases such as this and will continue to independently investigate the possible causes of this terrible accident. As always, we are available for a free consultation with anyone who may wish to pursue claims on their behalf or on behalf of a loved one.