2 men killed in plane crash at Dillingham airfield

HONOLULU — A single-engine plane crashed at an airport northwest of Honolulu on Saturday, killing two people, authorities said.

Crews treated a man in his 60s with traumatic injuries before he was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, Honolulu Emergency Medical Services spokeswoman Shayne Enright told the Star-Advertiser.

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Paramedics declared another man, also in his 60s, dead at Dillingham Airfield. No other injuries were reported.

“I’m deeply saddened to hear the news of two people losing their lives in today’s crash. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victims. Thank you to all the first responders on scene today,” Mayor Kirk Caldwell said on Twitter.

It is unclear what caused the Cessna 305 plane to crash, which the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

“The NTSB is the lead agency, and it typically takes the NTSB a year or more to determine a probable cause of an accident,” FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Last year, a skydiving plane crashed at the airfield, killing all 11 people aboard.

The department announced earlier this month that the state is transferring Dillingham Airfield back to the Army effective July 1.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case called on an investigation of safety issues surrounding the airfield.

“While it will probably be more than a year until officials are able to determine the cause of this crash, the Federal Aviation Administration cannot treat this as an isolated incident as it did with the previous three, but must immediately ask itself the hard question it has thus far avoided of whether existing tour helicopter/small aircraft regulations are simply inadequate to protect the safety of those in the aircraft and of the over one million of us that they fly over every day,” Case said in a statement.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz added that Dillingham Airfield should be shut down.

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“Our hearts are with those affected by today’s tragic accident,” Schatz said in a press release. “It has become clear that Dillingham Airfield cannot continue to operate safely. Our obligation is to keep people safe, and the only way to do that is to keep the airfield closed. I urge the FAA and HDOT to shut down the airfield until they can guarantee safety of operations at Dillingham.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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