KAILUA-KONA — A Cessna that made an emergency landing July 3 on Waikoloa Road appears to have lost oil pressure before the aircraft’s engine failed as it flew over the island’s leeward coast.
The National Transportation Safety Board released on Tuesday its preliminary report of the incident that occurred about 10:35 a.m. when the Cessna TU206F, N150SC, collided near mile marker 4 with a roadway sign on the side of the mauka-makai roadway in South Kohala.
The two men in the aircraft, a commercial pilot and passenger, were not injured in the incident, according to the report. The single-engine aircraft, however, sustained substantial damage to its right wing.
The aircraft, registered to Aerial Imaging Inc., had taken off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at 6:40 a.m. and was headed to the Kona area to conduct aerial survey work when the pilot reported noticing a loss of oil pressure.
At that point, the pilot decided to head toward Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole. However, about half-way there, the engine died.
“He was able to glide the airplane toward a stretch of highway that was mostly free of vehicles,” the report said. “While maneuvering to avoid a car, the right wing struck a road sign and the airplane came to rest in a ditch.”
The crash closed Waikoloa Road for about an hour. Motorists in the area who witnessed the crash and came upon the scene shortly thereafter pulled over to help the pilot and passenger out of the wreckage.