NTSB Identification: WPR13LA062
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 01, 2012 in Kahului, HI
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N3554Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 1, 2012, at 1900 Hawaiian standard time, a Cessna 172S, N3554Y, impacted the Pacific Ocean about 5 miles from Kahului Airport (OGG), Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. The owner/pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot, the sole occupant, is presumed to have received fatal injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight from OGG to Molokai Airport (MKK), Kaunakakai, Molokai, Hawaii. No flight plan had been filed.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the flight departed about 6 minutes prior to the accident. Shortly before the accident occurred, an Air Traffic Control (ATC) specialist noted an erratic flight pattern and contacted the pilot. The pilot declined assistance and informed ATC that he planned to make a right 360-degree turn and track inbound to the MKK VOR. The ATC specialist reported that instead of a right 360-degree turn, the airplaneā€™s radar track showed a left descending turn and was then lost from radar. The FAA reported that the airplane's last known altitude was 700 feet.

The Coast Guard responded to the last known position and commenced search and rescue (SAR) efforts. The Coast Guard recovered a portion of one of the landing gear, along with some interior airplane parts; however, the main wreckage was not located. SAR efforts were suspended on December 3, 2012.

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