Air ambulance that crashed near Maui was off course, NTSB prelim says

GLOBALAIR.COM

The NTSB has released the preliminary report for the Dec. 15, 2022 crash of a C90 Beechcraft King Air operated by Hawaii Life Flight (N13GZ). The plane lost contact with the coast guard that evening at an altitude of 5,000 feet when it was 15 nautical miles from the island. The communication with the pilot indicates he was off course when the plane crashed. Experts told Hawaii News Now that the pilot was disoriented on a stormy, moonless night. The medical transport plane departed Kahului Airport (OGG) on the island of Maui, Hawaii on an IFR flight plan, destined for the Waimea-Kohala Airport (MUE) to pick up a patient for transport to Honolulu, Hawaii. A preliminary review of voice communication from the FAA showed that shortly after takeoff the pilot had contacted the departure ATC specialist, telling them the flight was at 1,000 ft mean sea level (MSL) and climbing to 11,000 ft MSL. The NTSB reported the communication between the pilot and ATC specialist as the plane ascended to 13,000 MSL. The ATC specialist instructed the pilot to contact the Honolulu Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) who continued communication with the pilot. The ARTCC specialist instructed the pilot to fly a heading of 180 degrees, and he cleared the flight to fly direct to Tammi, “the initial approach fix for the RNAV (GPS) 4 approach to MUE, and the pilot acknowledged the instructions.” The ARTCC specialist asked the pilot to verify he was flying as instructed to which the pilot replied, “uhh, 13GZ is off navigation here… we’re gonna… we’re gonna give it a try.”

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