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Crash of a Rockwell Sabreliner 65 in Molokai: 6 killed

Date & Time: May 10, 2000 at 2031 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N241H
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Papeete – Christmas Island – Kahului – Molokai
MSN:
465-5
YOM:
1979
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Captain / Total flying hours:
12775
Captain / Total hours on type:
1370.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1725
Aircraft flight hours:
7934
Circumstances:
The airplane collided with mountainous terrain after the flight crew terminated the instrument approach and proceeded visually at night. The flight crew failed to brief or review the instrument approach procedure prior to takeoff and exhibited various cognitive task deficiencies during the approach. These cognitive task deficiencies included selection of the wrong frequency for pilot controlled lighting, concluding that the airport was obscured by clouds despite weather information to the contrary, stating inaccurate information regarding instrument approach headings and descent altitudes, and descending below appropriate altitudes during the approach. This resulted in the crew's lack of awareness regarding terrain in the approach path. Pilots approaching a runway over a dark featureless terrain may experience an illusion that the airplane is at a higher altitude that it actually is. In response to this illusion, referred to as the featureless terrain illusion or black hole phenomenon, a pilot may fly a lower than normal approach potentially compromising terrain clearance requirements. The dark visual scene on the approach path and the absence of a visual glideslope indicator were conducive to producing a false perception that the airplane was at a higher altitude. A ground proximity warning device may have alerted the crew prior to impact. However, the amount of advanced warning that may have been provided by such a device was not determined. Although the flight crew's performance was consistent with fatigue-related impairment, based on available information, the Safety Board staff was unable to determine to what extent the cognitive task deficiencies exhibited by the flight crew were attributable to fatigue and decreased alertness.
Probable cause:
Inadequate crew coordination led to the captain's decision to discontinue the instrument approach procedure and initiate a maneuvering descent solely by visual references at night in an area of mountainous terrain. The crew failed to review the instrument approach procedure and the copilot failed to provide accurate information regarding terrain clearance and let down procedures during the instrument approach.
Final Report:

Crash of a De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 in Molokai: 20 killed

Date & Time: Oct 28, 1989 at 1837 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N707PV
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Kahului - Molokai
MSN:
400
YOM:
1973
Flight number:
WP1712
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
18
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
20
Captain / Total flying hours:
3542
Captain / Total hours on type:
1668.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
425
Copilot / Total hours on type:
189
Aircraft flight hours:
19875
Aircraft flight cycles:
30139
Circumstances:
De Havilland DHC-6, N707PV (Aloha Islandair flight 1712), collided with mountainous/hilly terrain near Halawa Bay, HI, while en route on a scheduled passenger flight at night from Maui to Molokai, HI. Impact occurred at an elevation of about 500 feet, shortly after the aircraft had descended over water, then crossed the shoreline. There was evidence that the captain had made a navigational error and mistakenly believed that he was circumnavigating the northern portion of Molokai Island. The aircraft crashed while on a heading that was parallel with the island's northern shoreline. Low clouds obscured the mountain tops in the area of the accident. There was also evidence of inadequate supervision of personnel, training and operations by Aloha Islandair management and insufficient oversight of Aloha Islandair by the FAA during a period of Aloha Islandair's rapid operational expansion. All 20 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The airplane's controlled flight into terrain as a result of the decision of the captain to continue flight under visual flight rules at night into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), which obscured rising mountainous terrain. Contributing to the accident was: the inadequate supervision of personnel, training, and operations by aloha islandair management and insufficient oversight of Aloha Islandair by the Federal Aviation Administration particularly during a period of rapid operational expansion.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain off Molokai: 8 killed

Date & Time: Dec 23, 1987 at 1853 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N712AN
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Honolulu – Molokai
MSN:
31-7652151
YOM:
1976
Flight number:
PV082
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
7
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
8
Captain / Total flying hours:
2987
Captain / Total hours on type:
617.00
Aircraft flight hours:
6516
Circumstances:
The flight was to be flown across a 22 mile channel between islands on an overcast night with no moon and no ground reference lights. The aircraft disappeared from radar and, after extensive searches, could not be found. A three dimensional flight track was reconstructed using recorded radar data. The data indicated that in the last 60 seconds the aircraft slowed from 170 to 95 knots, gained 500 feet in altitude, and turned left 190° before abruptly disappearing from radar. Flight tests indicated that the movements of the aircraft in the last 60 seconds of the flight were consistent with a loss of the left engine, without compensation by the pilot. The operator's training program did not provide for night or instrument flight conditions. The last documented instrument time for the pilot was 15 months prior during a checkride. The pilot flew sporadic night flights. The pilot had previously flown during the day and was on his thirteenth hour of duty. The wreckage and all eight occupants were never found. However it is believed it crashed about 13 miles northwest of Maunaloa, on Molokai Island.
Probable cause:
Occurrence #1: loss of engine power
Phase of operation: cruise - normal
Findings
1. (f) 1 engine - undetermined
----------
Occurrence #2: loss of control - in flight
Phase of operation: cruise - normal
Findings
2. (f) light condition - dark night
3. (c) aircraft control - not maintained - pilot in command
4. (f) spatial disorientation - pilot in command
5. (c) airspeed (vmc) - not maintained - pilot in command
6. (f) fatigue (flight and ground schedule) - pilot in command
7. (f) lack of recent instrument time - pilot in command
8. (f) inadequate training - company/operator management
9. (c) stall/spin - inadvertent - pilot in command
----------
Occurrence #3: in flight collision with terrain/water
Phase of operation: descent - uncontrolled
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 402B in Molokai

Date & Time: Aug 28, 1976 at 1050 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N69391
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Molokai - Honolulu
MSN:
402B-0529
YOM:
1973
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
8
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1503
Captain / Total hours on type:
400.00
Circumstances:
After takeoff from Molokai Airport, the pilot encountered control problems and the airplane became unstable. In such conditions, he decided to reduce his altitude and to attempt an emergency landing in a prairie. Upon landing, the airplane slid for several yards before coming to rest. Two passengers were seriously injured while seven other occupants escaped with minor injuries.
Probable cause:
Airframe failure during initial climb due to improper maintenance on part of the maintenance personnel. The following contributing factors were reported:
- Flight control systems: elevator and elevator tab control system,
- Improperly installed,
- Chafed,
- Forced landing off airport on land,
- Elevator cable P/N 5000008-8 misrouted outside pulley guard pin,
- Cable wore and broke from chaffing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft C-45H Expeditor off Molokai: 8 killed

Date & Time: Feb 22, 1972 at 0705 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N5642V
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Honolulu - Lanai
MSN:
AF-721
YOM:
1954
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
7
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
8
Captain / Total flying hours:
7323
Captain / Total hours on type:
764.00
Circumstances:
En route from Honolulu to Lanai, while cruising along the coast, the twin engine airplane went through a stormy area when control was lost. It crashed into the sea offshore and was destroyed. All eight occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
It was determined that the pilot continued under VFR mode into adverse weather conditions. The following factors were reported:
- Low ceiling, rain and thunderstorm activity,
- The pilot flew into known thunderstorm activity.
Final Report:

Ground accident of a Vickers 754D Viscount in Honolulu

Date & Time: Jun 27, 1969 at 0702 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N7410
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Honolulu – Molokai
MSN:
242
YOM:
1957
Location:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
11
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
7000
Captain / Total hours on type:
3000.00
Circumstances:
While taxiing at Honolulu Airport, on a flight to Molokai, the pilot-in-command lost control of the airplane that collided with a parked Hawaii Air DC-9 registered N906H. While the DC-9 was slightly damaged, the Viscount was damaged beyond repair and the 14 occupants were uninjured.
Probable cause:
Loss of control during taxi due to the failure of the landing gear braking system. It was determined that the crew lost brakes and steering as the hydraulic system was not bled of air. The following factors were considered as contributing:
- Improper maintenance and inspection on part of the maintenance personnel,
- Inadequate preflight preparation on part of the flying crew.
Final Report:

Crash of a Travel Air 5000 in Molokai

Date & Time: Jul 14, 1927
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Oakland - Honolulu
MSN:
160
YOM:
1927
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Both pilots Ernest L. Smith and Emory R. Bronte were engaged in one of the first transpacific nonstop flight from Oakland to Honolulu, taking part to the 'Dole Race' with a price of 25,000 US$. After a flight of 26 hours and 36 minutes, crew was approaching the coast of Molokai when the engine failed due to fuel exhaustion. Crew made an emergency landing and was unhurt while the aircraft christened 'Spirit of Oakland' was damaged beyond repair. As they did not reach Honolulu, both pilots were disqualified and did not win the prize.
Probable cause:
Engine failure caused by fuel exhaustion.