Sunday, December 18, 2022

Beechcraft C90B King Air, N13GZ: Fatal accident occurred December 15, 2022 in Kahului, Hawaii

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290. 

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.

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Hill, Millicent

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Dylan L. Garrison; Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii
Guardian Flight - Director of Safety; South Jordan, Utah
Guardian Flight - Director of Operations; South Jordan, Utah

Guardian Flight LLC

Location: Kaupo, Hawaii
Accident Number: ANC23FA008
Date and Time: December 15, 2022, Local
Registration: N13GZ
C90A Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Positioning

On December 15, 2022, about 2114 Hawaii-Aleutian standard time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company (formerly Beech) C90A, twin-engine, turbine-powered airplane, N13GZ, is presumed to have sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Kaupo, Hawaii. The airline transport pilot, flight paramedic, and flight nurse are presumed fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 air ambulance positioning flight. 

The flight, operated by Guardian Flight LLC, dba Hawaii Life Flight, departed the Kahului Airport (OGG) on the Island of Maui, Hawaii, at 2053, on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The accident airplane was destined for the Waimea-Kohala Airport (MUE) on the Island of Hawaii to pick up a patient to be transported to Honolulu, Hawaii.

Dark night conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

A preliminary review of archived voice communication information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that shortly after departure from OGG at 2055, the pilot contacted the departure air traffic control (ATC) specialist on duty, indicating the flight was at 1,000 ft msl, climbing to 11,000 ft msl.

About 2102, the departure ATC specialist instructed the pilot to contact Honolulu Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) on frequency 119.3.

At 2103, the pilot contacted the ARTCC specialist on duty and reported level at 11,000 ft msl.

At 2104, the ARTCC specialist asked if the pilot could climb to 13,000 ft msl, and the pilot responded that he could.

As the flight proceeded on an east-southeasterly heading and along the northern shoreline of the Island of Maui, it turned southbound along the predetermined flight route.

At 2108, as the flight continued on a southeasterly heading, the ARTCC specialist initially instructed the pilot to turn right to a heading of 180°, then to an amended heading of 200°, and the pilot acknowledged the 200° heading.

At 2109, as the flight continued on a 200° heading at 13,000 ft msl, the ARTCC specialist instructed the pilot to descend to 12,000 ft msl, and the pilot accepted.

At 2110, the ARTCC specialist instructed the pilot to descend to 8,000 ft msl, and the pilot acknowledged.

At 2112, the ARTCC specialist instructed the pilot to fly a heading of 180°, 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.

At 2113:22, the ARTCC specialist contacted the pilot of N13GZ, asking him to verify that he was flying “direct to Tammi” as previously instructed.

At 2113:25, the pilot replied, in part: “Uhh, 13GZ is off navigation here… we’re gonna… we’re gonna give it a try.”

At 2113:32, the ARTCC specialist acknowledged the pilot’s last statement and instructed him to turn right to a 170° heading and to maintain 8,000 ft msl.

At 2113:43, a final radio transmission, believed to be from the accident pilot, is heard saying “Hang on.”

There were no further communications with the accident flight.

A witness who was flying a low-wing Piper PA-44 airplane from Hilo, Hawaii, to Honolulu reported seeing the accident airplane well above and to the north of his northwesterly flight path. He stated that, after the ARTCC specialist reported N13GZ to his 3 o’clock position at 12,000 ft msl, descending to 8,000 ft msl, he continued watching the lights of the airplane. He said that, as the airplane continued southbound, it began a right turn, then it entered a spiraling right descending turn, which steepened as the descent increased. The witness said that he watched the airplane continue to descend until it impacted the surface of the water. He added that, shortly after the airplane impacted the water, he lost sight of the airplane’s lights.

The accident airplane was equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS–B), which provides aircraft position information via satellite navigation or other sensors and periodically broadcasts it, enabling the aircraft to be tracked. The information can be received by air traffic control ground stations as a replacement for secondary surveillance radar, as no
interrogation signal is needed from the ground.

According to archived FAA ADS-B data, after the airplane departed OGG, it initially proceeded north, then it turned eastbound, which is consistent with the Onohi Two standard instrument departure procedure. As the airplane neared the northeastern shores of Maui, while climbing to 11,000 ft msl, it eventually turned southbound along the Victor 11 airway. The ADS-B data eventually stopped near where the witness observed the accident airplane impact the water.

An alert notice (ALNOT) was issued by the FAA at 2127, and an extensive search was launched by the United States Coast Guard. During the search, portions of airplane wreckage were found floating near and in the vicinity of the last known location of the accident airplane. Neither the airplane nor its occupants have been located. The search was officially suspended on December 19, 2022, at 0955.
The airplane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and a Dukane underwater acoustical beacon, as well as an Appareo Vision 1000 cockpit-mounted Airborne Image Recording System (AIRS).

The airplane wreckage sank in the open ocean waters of an area known as the Maui Channel, with an estimated water depth of 6,000 ft. Deep water search and recovery efforts are pending.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N13GZ
Model/Series: C90A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: NightDark
Observation Facility, Elevation: HOG,46 ft msl 
Observation Time: 20:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 28 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C /18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Kahului, HI (OGG) 
Destination: Waimea-Kohala, HI (MUE)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: Unknown
Ground Injuries: Aircraft
Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 20.558293,-156.07067

Aircraft crashed into the ocean under unknown circumstances.

Date: 16-DEC-22
Time: 15:24:00Z
Regis#: N13GZ
Aircraft Make: RAYTHEON
Aircraft Model: C90
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 3
Flight Crew: 1
Cabin Crew: 2
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Aircraft Operator: GUARDIAN FLIGHT
Flight Number: LN13GZ

Hawaii Life Flight

Two of our families asked us to share a little bit about their loved ones and request that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.

Flight Medic Gabe Camacho's mom said - Our family would like to thank the Coast Guard as well as all who were involved in the search for our son as well as the other two crew members. We truly feel the love and support from not only our family and friends but from the community at large. Gabriel loved what he did, and he was well aware of the risks. He will be forever loved and remembered by us all. The family will be holding a celebration of Gabe’s life after the New Year.

Flight Nurse Courtney Parry's mom and family want you to know - Courtney had a passion for living and an immeasurable love for her three children. She had an incredible sense of humor and in no time would have the whole room laughing. Anyone who has ever met Courtney was immediately drawn to her vibrant spirit. She was selfless, caring, and truly loved helping others. She loved to travel and was always looking for new places to go. Courtney lived an incredibly full life with no regrets. Whatever she set her mind to, she accomplished. She was kind, funny, courageous, and although she will be missed tremendously, our love for her will live on forever.

Our pilot's family continues to ask for privacy as they heal.

Hawaii Life Flight

Courtney Parry

December 22 —  The daughter of one of the crew members on a medical transport plane that went missing in the waters off Maui last week described her mother as an "amazing human."

The daughter of one of the crew members on a medical transport plane that went missing in the waters off Maui last week described her mother as an "amazing human."

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the crew member, Courtney Parry, who was a flight nurse on a medical transport plane that lost radar contact on the evening of Dec. 15 about 16 miles south of Hana on its way to pick up a patient in Waimea on Hawaii island.

The U.S. Coast Guard had been looking for the Hawaii Life Flight plane and its crew for three days before suspending its search.

Parry's daughter, Sydney Parry, said in a statement that her mother "was an amazing human being who literally lit up the room when she walked in. She made people laugh and feel good about themselves. She moved out to Maui so I could (pursue ) my dream of teaching—that's how much she loved her kids and how selfless she was."

A GoFundMe page was set up following the incident and already has raised more than $11, 000 to support Sydney, who is a kindergarten and first grade teacher on Maui. The two had lived together with their two dogs in Kihei and shared living expenses.

They were planning on traveling to Greece in the summer, the GoFundMe page noted.

"She was full of life and loved to travel. She always had a joke ready. She was my best friend and I can't imagine my life without her, but I'm so proud of her and honored to be her daughter, " Sydney said.

The GoFundMe page will support Sydney, who now needs to find more affordable living arrangements.

After the plane went missing, Hawaii Life Flight issued a "safety stand down, " grounding its other planes and pausing its operations for the well-being of its staff and to conduct inspections on planes similar to the one that went missing. The missing plane was a Beechcraft C90B King Air.

The stand-down created a shortage in medical air transport, prompting an emergency proclamation from Gov. Josh Green to bring out-of-state medical personnel and aircraft to step in.

The Hawaii Army National Guard also has provided support with Black Hawk helicopters and medical crews. It has done four transports since Monday, the state Department of Defense announced in a news release—two from Kauai to Oahu, one Hawaii island to Maui and another from Molokai to Maui.

Green authorized the National Guard support until Wednesday morning, but the news release said the need is being reevaluated.


  1. I believe that was a single-pilot operation. A friend of mine used to fly for them. Three onboard means nurse, medic, pilot. The competing company uses two pilots. The accident flight described above was flown in bad weather, on a moonless night and in turbulence and wild winds in the lee side of the volcanoes. I flew that leg single pilot at night (with passengers) in similar conditions early in my career (such as it was) and it scared me badly. It is absolutely pitch dark out there and was like flying down a well in severe turbulence. Flying inter-island at night in bad weather should only be attempted by those pilots who have absolute mastery over their airplanes.
    Let's hope that this tragedy convinces some of the operators who are congratulating themselves for how much money they're saving by using one pilot to reconsider that decision.

    1. If the pilot was a competent and current instrument pilot, the fact that it was a dark, moonless night is irrelevant. What's the difference between that condition and flying hard instruments in the clouds. I would like to think all pilots are absolute masters of their machines; otherwise, they shouldn't be flying in those conditions.

    2. Yes, really for sure all pilots are absolute masters...OK.

    3. "A man has got to know his limitations"

    4. Just need pay for higher talent

    5. All pilots are fearless pilots until they encounter their first near death experience.

    6. You are absolutely correct. Twice I have thrown myself on the ground and said, "never again."

    7. DWN. Outside of flight simulator or Xplane have you ever flown on a moonless night in the clouds? or flown in IMC in the clouds. Clouds aren't soft or smooth. Aircraft are a handful in those conditions. Your mind can convince you of things that aren't true. You can lose track of where you are in the sky.

      The long slow right turn to nearly 180 degrees off of the desired track could mean spatial disorientation or some other serious problem.

    8. If you work in aviation you would know that pilots are usually hired because you know someone. Actual ability is second or third if you have a real ass kissing personality. IMC getting bounced around in turbulence should not be a problem. As a company check pilot I have flown with pilots who have lost control in turbulent IFR conditions when I wouldn't let them use the auto pilot. All of them went on to work for various airlines because they knew somebody.

    9. Pilots are fallible regardless of tremendous experience or impressive competency. There is a little thing called "human factors" that will prey upon the unwary. Two pilots is insurance against debilitating and tragic outcomes caused by such menacing phenomena as spatial disorientation, lack of situational awareness, or many of the physical impairments such as vertigo. In this flight environment one pilot is never enough.

  2. I fly for a competing company and these accidents affect us all. As much as I would like to say that we pilots are all 100% competent in operating our aircraft and 100% ready to handle every and any contingency that is just not true. All of us have gaps in our knowledge and ability, we are not computers, and since we operate single pilot we don’t have the luxury of having another highly experienced pilot in the cockpit with us. Night shift is the most difficult, we only do it for one week per month, and we aren’t able to quickly adapt. Trying to sleep during the day is tough and fatigue is common.

    1. Everything he said is true. Our second pilot is the autopilot when it comes to the FAA blessing off on this type of operation. I had another pilot tell me a wonderful and true saying a few years back. The two people in the back (Nurse and Medic) are trying to save one life (patient), the pilot up front is trying to save four lives, and the autopilot is trying to kill everybody.
      I use my autopilot often but I don't trust it for a second. I monitor it like I am flying with a student pilot. On a moonless night in Arizona that autopilot could put you in upside down and you would not know it until it is too late.

  3. Know how to use your autopilot otherwise you will wind up like Kennedy

    1. Thinking your autopilot is your savior may be how this guy wound up in the drink.

    2. They should require two pilots for the night flights. They tried to save a few bucks and people were killed. What many people on the periphery of aviation don't understand, and this includes management in many companies, is the psychological burden of being up front all by yourself at night in bad weather with pax or crew sitting behind you. Everyone can understand the workload issues of single pilot, but only those who've flown single-pilot IMC at night in bad weather with pax know the psychological burden. With experience, of course, the burden (the fear) becomes manageable, but it's not a safe environment for the low-time IMC pilot. I know a couple former 121 pilots who completely fell apart when thrust into single-pilot ops.
      To paraphrase the immortal words of E. Gann: "We must become intimate with fear and shake his filthy hand."

    3. That is absolutely the most misguided notion ever suggested in the history of aviation (though we regularly see equally crazy statements on this site all the time). An autopilot is not a parachute.

    4. An A/P doesn't get spatial disorientation. Plenty of experienced IMC pilots have lost it in a cloud. Knowing how to engage it as a last resort is actually quite valuable. I don't fly in much IMC, and thus have IMC minimums for hand flying that are different for those where I have a reliable and working two-axis A/P I'm familiar with. I fly for fun, so it's not about making a living for me, it's about living.

    5. Would those dismissing the use of the (familiar) A/P elaborate - even if only for us mere mortals to learn from?
      As the foreposter wrote, they don't "get spatial disorientation", that alone is invaluable, and last I checked, workload reduction is also quite welcome in complex and complicated, heck in most, environments.

    6. I posted previously and I used to fly for these guys and an autopilot will kill you just as quickly as poor flying skills. They really do fail and often at inopportune times, and then you have the whole AC inverter thing to deal with. After a couple of AP failures and several inverter failures I switched companies and got out of the KAs. The inverter failures REALLY scared me.

    7. Waaay back in the 60s-70s era we never had any form of autopilot in our BE58 and only a wing leveler in our BE36s. Pure SP hand flying 100% of the time.

    8. The lack of 2 pilots has little to do with money. The cost of a pilot salary is a very small percentage of the operating cost. I know, I'm one. If the requirement were for 2 there would be half as many people helped because they just aren't available. The company already operates at much reduced staffing levels due to the shortages of pilots, nurses, and medics.

    9. Waaay back in the 60s-70s and well beyond that time the (commercial) aviation accident rate was what exactly? Flight management systems with A/P and EGPWS and envelope protection work.

      To the poster who insists an A/P will kill you: not "an" A/P but perhaps the one you had to use. Come on, it's 2022 and in commercial ops they still use antiquated equipment? I see all those "bells and whistles" just as the landing gear: you WILL need it to protect the (cost and occupants/cargo of the) entire aircraft and thus they need to be maintained and regularly used/understood. It's simply too expensive not to have them in working condition.

    10. One more thing about safety, a well trained crew, of course. Which does not mean last minute heroic actions to save a bad situation, but not even getting there in the first place by using the available automation when really needed. Humans are simply terrible at perceiving, decision making and quick reactions when tired, out of the loop, frightened and spatially disoriented.

    11. "Know how to use your autopilot otherwise you will wind up like Kennedy"

      This is where having a backup artificial horizon may do more harm than good. When presented with conflicting data, I can easily see a pilot doing what feels right instead of what's actually right due to the somatogravic illusion.

      It seems to me an approach like what the old shuttle used to deal with conflicting flight data, have several backup systems (NASA used 5 flight computers), and allow the automation to "out vote" the erroneous data...

    12. Your are mixing somatogravic illusion and pilot error with erroneous data to make your argument about dangers of autopilots seem logical when it is not. The former doesn’t affect an autopilot, the latter will affect both, lest correct redundancy prevails, and again, in most cases the automation is better at than than a human under stress.

    13. I currently fly Medevac in a PC12 but I have lots of Medevac time in 90s and 200s. Someone above asked why pilots are dismissive of autopilots, here goes. You are on your 4th night shift, haven’t been sleeping well because, well, you have been trying to sleep during the middle of the day. It’s pitch dark outside, no moon, you are flying a trip over water with no surface lights and you really can’t see the stars because of the cockpit lights which you have turned up bright to help you stay awake. The drone of the engines is soothing and the crew is asleep with the lights off in the back, the radio is quiet. You are half asleep yourself then both of your familiars EFIS display go dark and display red ‘X’s, the autopilot disconnect warning sounds HI-LO HI-LO HI-LO and the master warning is flashing in your face. You don’t have the airplane trimmed well because the autopilot was on but you don’t know that, what do you do and how long do you have to live? The answer is, not long. By the time you figure it out your fate may already be sealed.

    14. The rest of the question is, if you crash into the water who’s fault is it? Tired pilot? Lack of training? Nobody to help you deal with an overwhelming situation? 40 year old airplane living in a corrosive environment?

  4. The first comment is so true. Ppl have no idea how challenging those conditions are especially single pilot in a complex labor intensive airplane like a King Air. Even a very competent pilot could struggle in such conditions. Very challenging to say the least.

    1. The King Air is a mainstay of business aviation and Pt. 135 carriers. It is an all-weather pressurized aircraft.

      It is more complex than a C 172. It is far from the complexity of an MD-80.

  5. Not a pilot, but sad for the people involved. I looked at the same flight track on Dec 01 and seemed very routine. The Dec 16 flight had an anomaly approx 15min, after executing a right turn, ATC had him climb from 11K to 13K (weather?), Vert Rate suddenly was over -2400ft/min. After that, flight path seemed stable speed wise, but path somewhat erratic, with not much comm from the Pilot. Continued fairly straight for a few minutes, but suddenly dove down to the right, almost straight down from ~9Kft, final recorded Vert rate approaching -9700ft/min. Weather warning noted by ATC right before the climb to 13Kft. Piper in the area, N128AR, apparently saw it headed down though the clouds. No Mayday issued. Thoughts?

    1. Scrolled through comments until I found someone questioning why there wasn’t a mayday. My husband was a helicopter pilot. He first flew tours in Maui and after 2 engine failures eventually went to utility work. One of his crashes was recorded by a passenger. They were inside a valley and from the time of the video camera coming on during a hover as he pointed out towards the ocean in his auto rotation he ran out of altitude then flared on the top of a tree was 56 seconds. He was a low time pilot then but immediately got his call out and went to work. Helicopter landed nose down at the base of the tree, minor injuries to all 4 on board.

  6. Not sure what the weather was that night, ADSB exchange shows him around 13,000 ft looking normal and then a turn to the right and rapid decent. It could be a medical issue with the pilot or spatial disorientation. May never know the cause if the wreckage sank and the water is deep there.

  7. Considering how many spatial disorientation related crashes there have been, it's something they really need to hammer into current and future pilots. Even if it means hours in a simulator, it can and will save lives.

    BTW, I'm not saying this was a SD situation, however, the conditions under which this flight was taken lends to that possibility.

  8. Upon entering IMC it's a good habit to hand-fly for at least the first few minutes before switching on the AP to ensure that your scan is good and that you'll be prepared if the AP goes fubar. As mentioned above, that can happen at any time — or it might not even activate when you switch it ON.
    If we can again paraphrase Ernie Gann: "Any pilot who needs to rely on the autopilot to fly in IMC will not be long for this world."

  9. ADSB Replay shows that path of Piper Seminole N128AR that was nearby at 6,700 feet which turned back and began circling at 0715Z. The pilot of N128AR can provide insight about actual weather conditions in the accident area to NTSB.

    The replay also shows a search helicopter on scene at 8:05Z, which searches the crash area at low MSL. The military helicopter is identified as Lucky41.

    1. Track showing both the accident aircraft and N128AR:,a0717a&lat=20.509&lon=-156.159&zoom=11.9&showTrace=2022-12-16&trackLabels

  10. A million years ago when I was training for my instrument rating in a Cherokee my instructor taught me to always know where the VFR is and to never venture farther into IFR than you are willing to hand fly using needle, ball, and airspeed to get out. For me that was about 15 minutes. The airplanes that we use in the air ambulance business are not really that far removed from my old Cherokee, single autopilot that relies on 50 year old inverters to power the gyros and nice but not very redundant instrumentation. The C90B panel may look like that of an airliner but it definitely is no where near as functional or redundant. After 45 years of flying I routinely turn down flights in KAs and PC12s that will take me more than 15 minutes from VFR, fortunately I have a CP, ACP, and company that understand the risks. I have never tried air ambulance in AK or HI because it is really really dark there for long distances at night and that is IMC even when there aren’t clouds.

    1. FYI, the company has begun upgrading C90B with dual G600 panels (dual AHRS) and a GI-275 independent standby instrument, and updated GFC-600 autopilot; all new solid state, state of the art avionics!

  11. There are several questions that need to be answered here.
    After listening to the ATC tapes--- Question 1 -After being cleared to the next fix, why didn't the controller query the pilot about why he was turning right instead of proceeding to the fix as instructed. Question 2- why did his transponder go out and need to be reset? Was there a complete electrical faiilure that plunged him into darkness? These questions may unfortunatley never get answered as the plane is at the bottom of the ocean.

    1. I'm wondering about massive electrical failure as well. I've seen pics of 2000 King Air C90's with glass cockpits as well as conventional (Old School) panels. The other pilot in the area described seeing the lights of the Aircraft as it crashed.

  12. I learned to fly in Hawaii. Currently ATP with B737 type rating.

    Night flying in the Hawaiian Islands is IFR mostly, dark with no horizon (unless you've got a full moon.) Based on the reports of Piper Seminole in the area reporting the crash, probably not IMC. Actual "IMC" in the islands is usually a localized rain squall.

    They shut down flight operations at the Air Ambulance company. It is possible this was done because it would removed them from contractual obligations for providing emergency medical airlift services. Getting a medically equipped King Air to Hawaii to replace the subject aircraft would take a week at least, and that would assume they had one on the mainland that was ready to go.

    I'm most interested to learn the experience of the PIC, time in type, time with the company and flying time in Hawaii.

    Depth in this area appears to be about 800-2000 ft. I seriously doubt they will recover the Aircraft.

  13. I don't know how this affects things, but this Aircraft (LJ-1590) was apparently from the Japan Maritime self-Defence force.

    This picture has a different number (LJ-1596) on the tail, so ???

    1. LJ serial number isn't an indicator of "built for Japan customer".
      See LJ serials, pdf sheets 43-48 (OrigDoc pgs 41-46), here:

    2. I see nothing in that document that describes who the aircraft was built for. Just the serial numbers and dates they were built. Googling LJ-1590 ends up with Japan Defense Maritime Patrol. Might be an error, might not.

    3. Google showed you a Japanese-owned C90 that has s/n LJ-1596 marked on the tail because incorrectly tagged the photo as LJ-1590.

  14. Anyone else surprised that only one occupant of the plane has been identified?

    Hawaii journalists are pre-programmed to minimize coverage of Aircraft accidents IMHO since the state relies on Air travel.

    1. Please? This is out of respect for the families. Some of the family members still may not have been notified! Thank you for understanding.

    2. It has been a week. Mulitple articles have been published regarding one crew member.

      Recently a Southwest Airlines captain flew his private plane into a mountain near San Bernardino. His name and the fact he was a captain for Southwest never made it into the news.

  15. Single pilot operation doesn't provide the ability to keep one pilot solely focused on hand flying while the other pilot is free to focus on whatever problem had cropped up with the navigation electronics.

    Troubleshooting of problems while hand flying requires interrupting your closed loop control and adds head movements that further challenge your caveman inner ear systems. Easy to let it get away from you if the autopilot isn't keeping things steady for some reason.

    1. OK, we've heard from ALPA.

    2. If you don't understand the unbroken focus vs distraction logic, go for a night drive on a twisty mountain road in blizzard snowfall conditions and spend time looking at the dash instead of the view forward. ALPA is correct, even if you think they are only protecting turf.

  16. Second crew member's name is released : flight medic Gabe Camacho

  17. FYI read the report about Kingair N860J

  18. I see a lot of criticism about autopilot usage. If you ever get a chance to fly in the first three or four rows, listen closely when the airplane is about 5 mi or so from landing and you'll hear the autopilot disconnect. Yes, professional pilots usually only hand fly the last few minutes of each flight. This is how virtually every passenger flies from point A to point B. Not sure why all the hate of autopilots.

    1. I wrote some of the comments in defense of using autopilot(s) further up and believe that the fun and pride of using all the acquired skills of hand flying have to do with that, forgetting that when flying other people and their stuff around it’s no longer primarily about fun and joy but safely doing an inherently dangerous yet also boring job where for a start F = m x a, with a containing true air speed^2 when hitting something.

    2. Problem is, autopilots on smaller planes aren't as reliable as those on airliners, and the airliners often have two of them. In the Pt. 135 world planes are often doing as many as 10~12 legs daily, seven days a week. Things wear out. Personally, I avoided using the AP much of the time, even in IMC, to save the wear and tear on it, to keep myself sharp, and in order to have it if really needed.

  19. The Pilot in Command is responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft.

    It has been 10 days since this tragic event.

    The Pilot is the ONLY crew member of the three who has not been identified.

    "Nothing to see here, move along."

    1. A difference here is that families came forward for the two. No coroner or law enforcement id statement has been made so far for any of them. Not having recovered any of the three from the ocean may be a factor in that.

      When Bob Swortzel crashed his Glasair into a mountain in Nov 2021, an effort was made to keep his name out of the news until all the legal requirements were set for the family:

      Almost a month later, an announcement was made by the family at the link below, but you won't find any news articles where authorities identified him as the pilot.

    2. TBH the name of the pilot and other crew are not the interest of aviators. What is of interest is the pilot's relevant experience. What is the most likely scenario, pilot error or aircraft system and/or airframe failure?

      I miss the days 20 years ago when the internet was young. The NTSB accident database was WAY more user friendly. At some point they revamped the system and that seems to coincide with being more about obfuscation than disclosing information.

  20. Lots of discussion about they flight conditions that make it sound like there was a hurricane about to arrive.

    Weather at Hana at the time of the accident was winds calm, fair skies, Altimieter 29.83. There may have been some localized rain squalls in the area of the accident, but all the discussion of bad weather and turbulence on the lee side of Maui is not consistent with reported weather at Hana.

  21. The NTSB has not even opened an investigation into this accident. Maybe because there is no wreckage for them to preserve and analyse.

    Here is a link to an accident report from Hawaii. A Cessna 177 departed HNL for a training flight on the north side of Maui. Private pilot and CFI aboard. Plane went down off the north shore of Maui.

    This was a part 91 operation. The accident we're discussing is a part 135 operation. Hopefully more details will be in the report.

  22. It was a dark, moonless night.

    If the subject aircraft had intermittent problems with the Auto Pilot, Artificial Horizon or any avionics, then it should not have been dispatched for a night flight.

    Daytime flying in Hawaii is usually severe clear. Night time flying is dark and mostly without the benefit of city lights or a horizon unless you have a near full moon.

    Hawaii flying is Bipolar. Severe clear during the day, totally on instruments at night.

    Single pilot night operations should require a reliable auto pilot. Cash flow should not be a concern, but probably would be.

  23. I wonder if the wing bolt AD got them. Without any veering left and right just a turn to the right at over 9,000 FPM it was instant. DF had a wing failure recently on a KA. ADSB looked similar.

    1. The wing attachment original design that placed the attach bolts in tension was changed to orient attachment bolts in shear at the 1984 introduction of the C90A. This aircraft being of the C90B design introduced in 1992 also has shear loaded bolts. Wing loss at the attachment point is less likely for this accident aircraft compared to a pre-1984 production aircraft.

  24. Any idea who the pilot is? Be nice to know who is responsible for this...

    1. Pilot identified Brian Treptow

    2. From what little info is available online, he seems to have been primarily a helicopter pilot who gave sight seeing rides/instruction. And while he had the requisite fixed-wing ratings, there seems to be little information regarding his fixed-wing experience.
      All of which makes one wonder if the company simply judged his ability to do the job based on his ratings alone, gave him a cursory check ride in good weather and said, "Go get 'em Tiger"?
      In these days of pilot shortages it's not unheard of for pilots to be thrust into situations they aren't qualified for, especially when there are no professional pilots in senior management who know what to look for, and when the company's chief pilot is unable or unwilling to properly vet new pilots.
      The fact that the true cause of this tragedy will never be known makes it all the more depressing.

    3. The pilot hat extensive experience in fixed wing aircraft… from the reports there was either a catastrophic mechanical error or a medical situation… with life flight there is oxygen in the cabin. As the crew preps for medical, there are a lot of questions. But a bird dropping from 7k feet spiraling into the hard deck is not good.

  25. Pilot identified as Brian Treptow, interesting his Linkedin is for Safari Helicopter, but his background includes :

    BRIAN MATTHEW TREPTOW Medical Class 2 (Expires: Aug 2016) Address: 6265 CREEKVIEW LN N, Brooklyn Park city, MN 55443 Licenses: Pilot : Airline Transport - Rotorcraft-Helicopter Pilot : Commercial - Airplane Single Engine Land Pilot : Commercial - Airplane Single Engine Sea Pilot : Commercial - Airplane Multiengine Land Pilot : Commercial - Instrument Airplane Flight Instructor - Rotorcraft-Helicopter (Expires: Nov 2017) Flight Instructor - Instrument Helicopter (Expires: Nov 2017)

    Read more:

    1. That Citydata listing was last updated: March 1, 2016, which is typical of the Citydata info snapshots and is why you often see it used in comments here as a way to "look back" and see if someone was only recently certified.

  26. FAA Airmen Registry is up to date and also shows type ratings.

    Medical Class: First Medical Date: 6/2022

    Date of Issue: 5/9/2019
    Type Ratings:
    A/B-737 A/EMB-145 A/LR-60
    B-737 EMB-145 CIRC. APCH. - VMC ONLY.

    Certificate: FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR
    Date of Issue: 6/10/2021

    Certificate: REMOTE PILOT
    Date of Issue: 5/31/2017

  27. I hope that the FAA checks all of the records of the King Air for maintenance. I do not know the pilot but all of his latest training records should be reviewed along with his medical certificate. The airplane came down for what reason; Maintenance was bad? Lighting strike and wing came off? Pilot training was questionable or he was taking some kind of drug? How many hours did he have and has he ever been violated by FAA?

  28. Had the accident occurred in day VFR, a mechanical cause of some sort would be conceivable. However, that it took place on a dark, moonless night over the ocean leads one to suspect the most obvious cause.
    It would be informative to learn whether the pilot had flown that leg at night, single pilot before, and to know how long he'd been flying for the company.
    The number of fixed-wing hours an individual may have is almost meaningless. There are a great highly skilled pilots with countless hours in day VFR and all sorts of fancy ratings who would be in serious trouble if they attempted that particular flight.

  29. Seems like things started falling apart after he got TAMMI. Being on vectors, I wonder if he had loaded the approach straight in from MYNAH. Not a huge workload issue, but when he says he's "off navigation" it would either imply his nav is simply not working, or he hasn't loaded it yet. If its not loaded, he'd have to reload the approach with the correct fix, select TAMMI, hit direct, switch his autopilot from HDG to NAV. Fairly simple and quick if you're alert and rested, but medevac (and the fatigue that comes with its schedule), wx, pax, and any number of other issues may have contributed to disorientation.
    - If he had inadvertently hit NAV before HDG, "George" would likely hand him back the controls. He would then be hunting around on his nav unit, simultaneously receiving a new heading, while hand flying at night.
    - If he had an older Garmin nav and had selected "vectors to final" (older software would dump all but the FAF if this were selected) assuming that's what he'd be getting, there would be more knob twisting and menu diving to get the approach loaded back to the way he wanted it.
    - etc

    Naturally, I would hope its none of the above, but only human to speculate - if only because I've seen similar things happen while flying Part 135 back in the day. The pilots ratings paint a picture of someone competent but nobody is immune to error. Still, it would be much easier to absorb that it was something mechanical or out of his hands.

  30. We tend to think of CRM as a PIC/FO issue, however when you get confused flying single pilot you can just ask ATC for "headings please, I've got a NAV issue to sort out" and they'll give you a heading to fly. Those guys and gals are sitting in a nice cozy room, and they're being well paid — there's no need to be bashful about asking for a bit of help. When the stress level is high, a reassuring voice telling you which way to fly can be very calming.

  31. Night flying on a moonless night in the Hawaiian Islands is IFR flying. You are completely on the gauges.

    Capt. Treptow seems to be primarily a Helicopter pilot (based on linked in profile), which is primarily daytime flying with tourists.

    That being said, Capt. Treptow had type ratings in B737, EMB-145 and LR-60. Lots of training and Sim time. Circling approach limitation in VMC only. Hmmm.

    I learned to fly in Hawaii and owned several aircraft. With a fresh pilots license and my single engine Grumman AA-5 I used to fly out at night between Oahu and Molokai and do 360 degree turns. Good times. No autopilot, of course.

    One of the planes I used to own went down on the north side of Molokai with a flight instructor and Private Pilot practicing maneuvers at night.

    Things happen fast in a King Air. It is a solid aircraft, but Capt. Treptow was primarily flying Helicopters. Not his usual ride I would guess.

    The details will come out when we hear from NTSB in 16 months.

    I'm guessing the pilots at Hawaii Life Flight have been doing lots of night Currency training.

    1. Regarding the quote “ Circling approach limitation in VMC only. Hmmm.”:

      Very likely this limitation is based on an airline’s OpsSpecs and should not reflect poorly on the pilot’s abilities. What this limitation means in layman’s terms is “not allowed to circle-to-land unless the weather is visual meteorological conditions(VMC(pretty dang nice weather))”

      Very normal for part 121 airline pilots to have this limitation. I’m typed in a king air 350 (BE300) with no limitations. About half the pilot pool I fly with is comprised of retired captains from American Airlines, Piedmont and delta and I’ve for sure seen this limitation on one of their certificates(he has over 30k hours) and I’d wager they all have atleast one type with that limitation based on their careers over 30 years between different airlines.

      This accident pilot we’re speculating about is fully type rated in both the Boeing 737 and embraer 145 and second in command rated in a lear 60. This limitation on circling approaches applies to the embraer and frankly when a company pays for your type rating training you don’t get to ask to have the limitation removed when it’s part of your operation specifications (OpsSpecs=agreement between air carrier and FAA outlining what the company is allowed to do in all aspects of their operations… ad nauseam.)

      I implore you to be grateful for OpsSpecs and pertinent limitations. They’re there to make our flying as safe and well planned as possible. Of course things happen. Whether pilot error or mechanical error we may never be accident free but we sure want to keep trying to attain zero fatality and zero accident rates.

      The limitation is there to prevent the pilots from descending on an approach-to-circling minimums in IMC(instrument meteorological conditions) then having to circle that big and relatively slow plane around to another runway because they may lose sight of the runway environment..we’d rather have a straight line to a stabilized and non-circling approach during IMC; it’s a risk management issue and pilots who read my post will understand what I’m writing and will agree. To all the passengers: be glad your pilots aren’t just hot-dogging their way to a landing.

      Next point: To those on here suggesting this pilot was primarily a rotorcraft pilot I would say you are likely incorrect… Boeing 737, emb 145, lear 60…This man flew fixed wings.

      The heartbreak so many people feel from this accident and all accidents are the reasons we pilots read accident reports, train emergency procedures, talk with dark curiosity and occasional dark humor of what to do or not-to-do. Our goal is to be a zero accident industry, maybe impossible but righteous nonetheless; and I imagine this pilot pursued this goal. If we ever know what happened we can rest assured the data will be used to try and fix the gap whether mechanical or pilot error and maybe one day reach the perfect aviation record. Peace

  32. Link to Preliminary NTSB report:

    1. Go direct via CAROL's link:

      Helping you learn to find it:
      (You're welcome!)

  33. Navy recovered a Helicopter from 6,000 feet depth off San Diego in 2021.

    I'm not sure how much time and treasure they will be willing to part with to recover this King Air.

    1. That MH-60S fell into the ocean after the rotor hit the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, so the Navy expected to find a relatively intact object. A King Air impacting at high speed may be significantly fragmented.

      Searchers might detect the location of the Dukane underwater acoustical beacon before its 90 day battery life expires, but the cabin portion of the fuselage will be much harder to find if the section where the beacon was mounted didn't remain attached.

  34. Strong currents between the islands, that thing could be miles away by now. A couple years ago a small Cessna with 3 young people on board went into the water one night at Molokai just after takeoff - many days were spent searching for it in vain and the distraught parents paid for extended searches. Night flying in Hawaii is no joke.

  35. I was a King Air 200 air ambulance pilot who always flew with 2 pilots but who violated pilot test rules .

    Single pilot with company operating cheap by not hiring a copilot . Bet they could have found a copilot who would fly for free as intern or even pay to fly to build 1500 hours to get airline pilot job

  36. Wonder if pilot was flying helicopter tours during the day and also flying air ambulance King Air at night ?

    Several years ago a male nurse I’m USA was working at a hospital as nurse during the day then working as singje pilot on a king air at night for air ambulance company .

    I flew for air ambulance company who also owned many FBOs .

    The FBO had a lineman pumping gas during the day and flying for air ambulance charter division as copilot at night on the King Air. The copilot was so tired at night flying king air he would fall asleep and said only thing that kept him from falling into dash was the shoulder harnesses .

    I never could figure out how the same company could issue 2 paychecks to 1 employee .

    Company said no rules were violated because lineman job was not related to pilot job so pilot was. legal to work as pilot at night after working non pilot job during the day .

  37. Breaking News: They found and recovered the plane and the three on board. The plane was found at a depth of 6,400' and had drifted only about 1,200' from the point of impact.

  38. CVR, Cockpit Image Recorder & other electronic devices were also recovered.

  39. Medevac flight from the same company (Guardian) crashed in Nevada.

    1. Local Detail on Nevada crash