NTSB Identification: LAX06LA246.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 27, 2006 in Kalaupapa, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 177B, registration: N30652
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Radar data, obtained from the U.S. Navy's Fleet Area Control & Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC), revealed that the airplane departed HNL and proceeded east toward Molokai. According to the radar data, the aircraft maintained an approximate altitude of 5,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and an approximate groundspeed of 90 knots for 23 minutes prior to the accident. Radar data shows the aircraft passed the Kalaupapa peninsula eastbound, and then changed directions several times, but still maintained altitude and groundspeed. At 20:53:06, the radar return depicted the airplane at 5,100 feet msl approximately 1 mile north of the shoreline near Kapailoa Point. The next radar return, at 20:53:16, depicted the airplane at 3,700 feet msl with a 50-knot groundspeed, northeast of the previous return. At 20:53:28, the airplane's radar return depicted it at 1,400 feet msl with a 30-knot groundspeed, southwest of the last return. At 20:53:40, the radar return denoted the airplane at 200 feet msl in the same location. The last return was obtained at 20:53:57 with an altitude of 0 feet msl, at 21:11:19 north latitude and 156:53:54 west longitude. The FACSFAC radar data revealed two lines of heavy returns over the island of Molokai. According to radar facility personnel, the lines depicted areas of heavy precipitation. Witnesses located at a private residence near Kapailoa Point reported that it was very dark, there were thick clouds in the area, and it was raining. A witness observed airplane lights descending from the base of the clouds at a very rapid descent rate. The witness noted that the airplane lights were wobbling (rotating one over the other) and the engine was revving loudly. The airplane lights disappeared behind a ridgeline and the witness did not observe impact. The witness added that the weather had been clear earlier in the evening, but the rainy weather had moved in rapidly and then dissipated shortly after the accident. To date, no aircraft wreckage has been recovered, therefore the reason for the loss of aircraft control was not determined.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Loss of aircraft control during cruise flight for undetermined reasons. Clouds, rain, and dark night conditions were factors. Full narrative available
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