Pilot of downed Makani Kai plane to address public

By Brenton Awa
Published On: Dec 17 2013 12:46:00 PM HST

Salvage crews are on a mission to recover the plane that carried Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy before crashing into the ocean off Molokai.

HONOLULU -

As a salvage crew works to recover a wrecked plane, the pilot involved says he will now be speaking out on about his ordeal.

Clyde Kawasaki declined to discuss the crash Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, but he did get into a cockpit of another airplane following his release from the hospital. Kawasaki said, "it's part of the healing process."

He does plan on addressing the media Wednesday to discuss the crash and what transpired following the fatal incident.

KITV will carry that press conference live on-air at 10 a.m. Hawaii time.

The plane Kawasaki piloted carried Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy before crashing into the ocean off of Kalaupapa last Wednesday.

Makani Kai owner Richard Schuman says he's determined to pull the aircraft from the ocean and get it's engine in the hands of investigators, hoping it'll provide answers to many people.

"It's the right thing to do and it's the right thing to do for the passengers," said Schuman.

Schuman tells us the recovery operation has been underway since Thursday, the day after the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board originally thought the plane would be unrecoverable, but the Makani Kai owner pushed the issue and hired a helicopter that eventually spotted the plane about 400 to 500 yards offshore, and 60 to 70 feet under water.

Schuman says a ship from Honolulu is being sent to Molokai sometime Tuesday.

"It'll be in the Kalaupapa area most of the day tomorrow, or for how long it takes for them to recover the aircraft and then we'll bring it back on Thursday," said Schuman.

Once the aircraft is returned to Oahu;

"The NTSB, the FAA and our crew will go to the aircraft and do what it takes to remove the engine from the frame, and then it goes into a sealed box and the government will put its decals and tags on it," said Schuman.

Schuman tells KITV4 that aircrafts engine was inspected less than 24 hours prior to the flight. The company routinely inspects its equipment beyond the manufacturers specifications.
     
Schuman says there were no symptoms of wear. They believe the engine failed, but are still confident in their daily operations.

"There's thousands of these aircrafts flying and we have the upmost confidence in these aircrafts," said Schuman.

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