Plane in crash re­port­edly had en­gine trou­bles

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE -

WAIPAHU, Oahu (AP) — The un­cle of a pi­lot who died in a plane crash with three others said that the plane pre­vi­ously had en­gine trou­bles.

Res­cue crews re­cov­ered the bod­ies of pi­lot Dean Hut­ton and his three pas­sen­gers Saturday. The sin­gle-en­gine plane crashed in a moun­tain­ous area north­west of Honolulu.

Crews have not been able to re­trieve the plane wreck­age.

“In this case it’s a very re­mote area. Our res­cue per­son­nel had to rap­pel off of our Air 1 heli­copter to be in­serted into the moun­tain­side,” said Craig Uchimura, Honolulu Fire Depart­ment bat­tal­ion chief. “It’s pretty treach­er­ous up there. We’d be un­able to get up there by ve­hi­cle, much less by foot. The res­cue per­son­nel did not re­port hav­ing any fuel or signs of fire at this time.”

The pas­sen­gers were Ger­rit Evensen, Heather Ri­ley and Alexis Aaron, said Lyssa Chap­man. Chap­man and Evensen’s sis­ter, Lei, had re­ported the group miss­ing Saturday.

The last time Hut­ton flew the same rental plane, it lost all power and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said his un­cle Scott Potwin. Hut­ton was an ex­pe­ri­enced pi­lot with over 170 hours of fly­ing time, Potwin said.

“He had been do­ing it quite a few times in the last cou­ple of weeks,” he said. “But the plane he rented had prob­lems.”

The plane was owned by John P. Mueller, ac­cord­ing the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s reg­is­tra­tion site. The name is sim­i­lar to the owner in a sep­a­rate plane that crashed ear­lier this month, Jahn P. Mueller. Both names are reg­is­tered with the FAA un­der the same post of­fice box.

Mueller did not re­turn calls seek­ing com­ment.

The Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board and the FAA are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the crash.

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