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Plane north of Big Island ditches in ocean Sunday (Jan 25), rescued


Video of the plane ditching and the rescue by the crew of the cruise ship Veendam

UPDATED

Coast Guard reports pilot safe after ditching 253 miles from Maui

The pilot of a single engine Cirrus SR-22 aircraft that ran out of fuel is safe after ditching his aircraft 253 miles northeast of Maui, Hawaii Sunday.

At approximately 4:44 p.m. the pilot was able to deploy the aircraft’s airframe parachute system and safely exit the aircraft into a life raft.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu identified the cruise ship Veendam, en route to Lahaina, Maui, and coordinated the pilot’s ditch near their location.

At 5:21 p.m. the crew of the Veendam rescued the pilot. The pilot was reported to be in good condition. The plane was last observed partially submerged.
Weather conditions at the time of the rescue were seas of 9 to 12 feet and winds of 25 to 28 mph.

The Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point assisted the pilot during the process of ditching his aircraft and maintained communications throughout the ditching process. The Hercules crew remained on scene until the pilot was safely aboard the Veendam.

The flight originated in Tracy, California and was destined for Kahului Maui.
At 12:30 p.m. the pilot contacted the Hawaii National Guard and reported his aircraft had approximately three hours of fuel remaining and he would be ditching 230 miles north east of Maui.

MEDIA RELEASE

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard is responding to a distress call from a single engine aircraft running out of fuel approximately 975 miles north of the Big Island Sunday.

At 12:30 p.m. the pilot contacted the Hawaii National Guard and reported his aircraft had approximately three hours of fuel remaining and he would be ditching 230 miles north east of Maui.

The Coast Guard has launched crews aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point.

As of 2:35 p.m. the aircraft was 529 miles north east of the Big Island.

The Hercules is expected to rendezvous with the plane around 3:20 p.m.

The aircraft is reported as a single engine Cirrus SR-22 with one person aboard.

4 Responses to “Plane north of Big Island ditches in ocean Sunday (Jan 25), rescued”

  1. Ed says:

    I am a passenger aboard the Veendam. I have a telephoto lens and have captured photos of the plane’s tail floating in the Pacific as well as the attached parachute. I also have photos of the pilot onboard the liferaft before boarding the Veendam as well as the HC-130 circling the downed plane.
    Thanks,
    Ed

  2. Dustin says:

    Tracy, California to Kahului Maui, Hawaii is 2394 miles. The fuel range of this aircraft is only 1,200 miles. How did he even make it as far as he did? What was he thinking?

    Specifications (SR22)
    Performance

    Cruise speed: 183 kn (211 mph; 339 km/h)
    Stall speed: 60 kn (69 mph; 111 km/h) flaps down
    Range: 1,049 nmi (1,207 mi; 1,943 km) with reserves at 65% power
    Service ceiling: 17,500 ft (5,300 m)
    Rate of climb: 1,270 ft/min (6.5 m/s)

    • MalcolmO says:

      The aircraft was fitted with a Ferry tank. It has been reported on a Cirrus forum that there was a malfunction in the fuel system plumbing. The plane had enough fuel to reach its destination but the malfunction prevented the delivery of the fuel. In answer to your questioning what the pilot was thinking, I hope you will now give credit where credit is due. He is doing an amazing job.

      I send congratulations to all participants in this unusual and dificult rescue.

      MalcolmO

  3. PilotMan says:

    I’m guessing he fitted it with extra fuel tanks. I knew someone who flew a plane from Hawaii to LA by removing seats, adding fuel tanks, and getting a ferry permit. But it’s hard to say – media coverage doesn’t seem to report specific details.

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