State records show the plane involved in a deadly Hawaii crash has Northern California ties and was once involved in a mid-air incident that forced skydivers to bail early.
An entire island was in mourning after a skydiving plane crash-landed at a Hawaii airstrip, killing all 11 people on board.
Witnesses said the plane was unrecognizable as it was engulfed in flames.
“I just can’t believe it. I’m so sorry for them because there’s nothing we could have done,” one witness said. “There was nothing left. There wasn’t a sign of anybody in that plane.”
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.
Federal Aviation Administration records show the plane was registered out of Granite Bay. State records indicate that in 2017, the 52-year-old plane was registered and licensed to a business at the Lincoln Regional Airport.
It turns out that same twin-engine Beechcraft BE65 was involved in an incident just three years ago in the Bay Area. According to NTSB documents, 15 people were on board the plane when it suffered “substantial damage” to its tail. Parts started flying off at 13,000 feet in the air.
The pilot reported all 14 skydivers jumped to safety earlier than planned. After regaining control, the pilot landed safely.
Reports say the right rear stabilizer was missing when the plane landed but also cited weight and balance didn’t meet requirements.
“We will be looking at the quality of those repairs and whether it was inspected and whether it was airworthy before being returned to service,” said an NTSB spokeswoman.
The NTSB said their investigation into the deadly crash will be exhaustive as they continued to collect evidence.
“It’s anything from information on the pilot. It could include training records, log books,” the NTSB spokeswoman told reporters. “We’ll be looking at the aircraft itself, which we’ll be looking at inspection records, maintenance records. We will interview witnesses. We will look at FAA oversight of this operation.”
The flight was operated by the Oahu Parachute Center. Manager George Rivera told FOX40 the investigation is now in the hands of the NTSB and said he won’t be making any statements or answering any questions.