By KITV Web Staff
KAUAI COUNTY, Hawaii (KITV4) — Two people are confirmed to have died after a Civil Air Patrol plane crashed in a remote area on Kauai, Sunday.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the plane — a Cessna 172 — crashed around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, about 13 miles north of Kekaha.
The plane was conducting a monthly tsunami warning practice run for the Civil Air Patrol when it went down in steep mountainous terrain, the NTSB said. There were two people onboard at the time of the crash.
On Monday, the Kauai Police Department confirmed the two people onboard the plane died in the crash. Those two people have been identified as 76-year-old James Degnan of Princeville and 78-year-old David Parker of Kapaa.
Around 10 a.m. on Monday, police and fire officials were able to recover their bodies. Dangerous weather conditions and low visibility prevented the recovery effort on Sunday, KPD said.
Officials on Kauai County closed the first Kalalau Lookout in Koke’e for multi-agency operation related to this incident.
A “No Fly Zone” was instituted for the Kalalau and Koke‘e areas.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Kauai Police Department are also investigating. The FAA tells KITV4 that the NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates.
“We extend our sincere condolences to the loved ones of James and David, and our partners over at the Civil Air Patrol, whom we work with closely,” said KPD’s Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce. “These individuals were seasoned pilots who were part of our Kaua‘i community, and we know they will be missed deeply.”
“We are deeply saddened by the news of this terrible incident, and extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of these pilots who were well known in our tight-knit community,” said Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami. “The Civil Air Patrol has always been there to help our community during disasters and emergencies. We thank our first responders for working urgently and doing everything they could to bring a sense of closure for those touched by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you all.”
Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a congressionally chartered, federally supported non-profit corporation made up of volunteers that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the US Air Force.