A Cessna 172 aircraft, flying from Maui to Molokai, went off the radar Saturday night and apparently crashed in the ocean.
The pilot, Jose Krall of Maui, was the only person aboard the plane and is presumed dead by the U.S. Coast Guard after debris was found two miles off the north coast of Maui.
“The nature of the debris that we have encountered, some of it, which looks like it would have come from the interior of the aircraft, it seems unlikely this was a survivable crash but we are continuing to search,” Lt. Leigh Cotterell of the U.S. Coast Guard told Hawaii News Now. “We found a landing gear, life jackets, aircraft antenna.”
Maui Fire Department was informed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday of the possible crash approximately three miles northeast of Kahului Airport. The Coast Guard sent a rescue helicopter from Oahu and an engine company out of Paia searched the coastline from Kuau to Pauwela. After 9 p.m. nothing significant was reported. An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew searched Saturday night using an infrared sensor.
According to the report from Hawaii News Now, Krall and his wife Claire own the Maui Bake Shop and Deli in Wailuku. Claire Krall told Hawaii News Now that Jose was on his way to Molokai and Lanai to meet with farmers on work-related business. She says that flying was his stress relief from work, and that he wrote a note to her saying that he was going to fly for a bit and that he loved her.
According to drift models, debris could wash ashore between Kahului and Poelua Bay. The Coast Guard is asking anyone finding debris to call them at 842-2601.