Update: 8:35 a.m. Dec. 17, 2022
A search was launched late Thursday night for a missing aircraft that was reported to have three people on board in waters off Maui.
The US Coast Guard reports that the agency is responding to a report of a “downed aircraft” in a channel off Maui.
A preliminary notice from the Federal Aviation Administration notes that the aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances and the incident is presumed to have been fatal for all of those aboard. The FAA document lists the plane as a Beechcraft 90A aircraft operated by Guardian Flight with three individuals aboard including at least two flight crew members.
A spokesperson for Hawaiʻi Life Flight tells Maui Now, “Global Medical Response can confirm that one of our Hawaiʻi Life Flight emergency fixed wing airplanes based in Maui, went off radar while enroute to pick up a patient in Waimea Big Island.”
The incident occurred at 9:27 p.m. HST on Dec. 15, 2022, according to the company.
“We are working with the Coast Guard and rescue teams, providing all information, including last known coordinates,” according to the statement.
The company reports that there were three crew members on board; there was no patient as indicated on the FAA preliminary notice.
“We are in the process of reaching out to their families. Our immediate focus is helping the search and rescue teams. Please keep our team members in your thoughts. Out of respect for our team members and their families, we ask for your patience. We will provide updates as soon as we have them. As is our standard procedure, we have temporarily paused Hawaiʻi Life Flight transports.”
The search includes multiple aircraft from Air Station Barbers Point, the Coast Guardʻs Fast Response Cutter, William Hart, a patrol boat from Station Maui, an MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter, and a C-130 that flew in from Oʻahu.
Maui Now reached out to the Coast Guard for more information and is awaiting further details.
This is the second small plane incident reported this week in Hawaiʻi. In a separate incident, a father and son reportedly survived a single-engine plane crash near Lihuʻe Airport on Kauaʻi Thursday afternoon.
*This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.