Engine trouble grounds flight
An Island Air plane made two emergency landings on Maui Friday after experiencing engine trouble.
Five minutes after Island Air flight 55 took off from the Kapalua Airport on Maui to Honolulu the plane experienced trouble in its right engine, said Scott Ishikawa, state Department of Transportation spokesman.
The flight made an emergency landing at the Kahului Airport at about 1:30 p.m. and unloaded its 24 passengers.
Maintenance crews worked on the plane. But when a crew tried to fly the plane back to Honolulu, they experienced engine trouble again and returned the plane to Kahului Airport about 3:35 p.m.
An Island Air spokeswoman did not return calls for comment yesterday.
Pilot cited in fatal copter crash
A fatal Christmas Day helicopter crash on Kauai in 2005 was caused by lack of experience and the failure of the 20-year-old pilot to maintain control of the aircraft, the National Transportation Safety Board determined in a report adopted Thursday.
The pilot and sole occupant, Jonathan D'Attilio, died when a McDonnell Douglas 369FF helicopter crashed in De Mello Reservoir near the Lihue Airport.
D'Attilio was flying the Inter-Island Helicopters aircraft to help fire fighters battle a brush fire. At the time of the crash, D'Attilio was attempting to fill a 140-gallon bucket on a 25-foot line with water from De Mello Reservoir. A witness told investigators that the helicopter spun rapidly then stopped and slowly descended out of view behind trees.
The report determined D'Attilio hit the water in an uncontrolled descent. The helicopter was found upside-down in the reservoir.
It was D'Attilio's first solo external load flight and he was picking up his first load of water that day, the report said. He had received clearance only that month to fly helicopters with an external load, the report said.
Investigators disassembled the craft's engine and found no evidence of mechanical malfunctions before the crash.
At the time of the crash, there were light winds and visibility was clear.
Team fighting coqui frogs laid off
HILO » A 10-person coqui frog eradication crew will be laid off at the end of this month after the state Legislature decided to divert grant funding to a different program.
State lawmakers provided $1 million to the county-operated Coqui Frog Eradication and Control Program for the fiscal year that ended in June.
But they gave only $500,000 to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources this year and nothing to the county program.
Billy Kenoi, executive assistant to Mayor Harry Kim, said the eradication effort will have to survive on the $300,000 budgeted by the county.
But he said the program really needs $3.6 million to be effective.
DLNR plans to use the $500,000 of that to control coqui frogs in state parks and forests on the Big Island. The remainder will go to kill the frogs in state parks on other Hawaiian islands.
Kenoi said the county will continue to pay for sprayers filled with frog-killing chemicals that local residents can borrow for their own eradication efforts.
Hunters protest conservancy plan
Members of the Molokai Hunters Association gathered in front of the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall yesterday to protest the Nature Conservancy's plans to have professional hunters from New Zealand kill invasive wild pigs and goats on the island.
Carrying signs with the words "Anti-Hawaiian" and "Missionary Attitude," the protesters waved at drivers along Ward Avenue.
The protest coincided with a gun show at the Neil Blaisdell Center organized by the Hawaii Historic Arms Association.
The protesters say hunting is an important part of Molokai's economy and way of life.
The Nature Conservancy says it has met with local residents and received their input.
Police, Fire, Courts
Armed robbers take video games
Police are searching for three men who robbed a Honolulu bar at gunpoint yesterday afternoon, taking two video-game machines.
The men entered the New Club Tahoe on Dillingham Boulevard shortly after noon, police said. One man told the staff that they were taking the machines and raised his shirt to show a black handgun in his waistband, police said.
The two other men carried out the machines and all three men were seen leaving in a black sports utility vehicle, they said.
Police said they found a possible suspect, but the employees were unable to identify the man and no arrests have been made.
Man accused of sexual assault
Police charged a 23-year-old man yesterday for allegedly sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman inside a Jack in the Box restaurant in Kailua.
Elia Hauanio was arrested at 6:45 Friday morning at his Waimanalo residence.
Police said Hauanio, who was with an employee in the restaurant on Oneawa Street, invited the woman into the closed restaurant.
Police said the restaurant employee called police to report the assault at about 4:30 a.m. The woman told police that she did not know Hauanio, police said.
Hauanio was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault. He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Police seek info on fatal crash
A 57-year-old Puna man died Friday after his pickup truck hit a concrete pillar along Hawaii Belt Road north of Hilo on the Big Island.
The man was traveling south in the Papaikou area about 7:50 p.m. when he ran off the right side of the road.
The man was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he died at 8:46 p.m. Police withheld his name pending notification of kin.
He was not wearing a seat belt, police said. Traffic officers ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer Robert Pauole at 961-8119.
Prosecutors get shooting case
Hilo police concluded their investigation in the fatal shooting of 28-year-old Jeremy Napoleon on June 19 and have turned the case over to prosecutors.
The main suspect apparently was killed in a crash later that day.
Officers were flagged down at a Puna home where Napoleon was found with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Police connected the shooting to a fatal crash in North Kohala that killed 45-year-old Noel Smith.
The 2007 Dodge pickup truck Smith was driving crossed the centerline, hit an embankment and overturned.
Police recovered a firearm at the scene of the accident and detectives confirmed it was related to the Puna shooting.