A twin-engine cargo plane was forced to land on its belly at Honolulu Airport yesterday after its landing gear malfunctioned.
Pilot belly-lands cargo plane
A malfunctioning landing gear forced a pilot to land a cargo plane on its belly yesterday afternoon at Honolulu Airport.
No one was injured.
The Beech twin-engine aircraft took off from Honolulu and was heading toward Molokai when the pilot turned the plane around, said state Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
The pilot radioed the tower that the aircraft's right landing gear was malfunctioning, Ishikawa said.
He flew the Kamaka Air Inc. plane past the tower and a visual check was made, he said, confirming the right landing gear could not deploy.
"Basically, the plane did a belly landing," Ishikawa said. The plane had its left landing gear out, Ishikawa said, but added that it was unclear whether the pilot retracted it or if it just collapsed on landing at about 12:05 p.m.
Two runways -- 4 Left and 8 Left -- were shut down for about three hours and reopened at 3:15 p.m.
Airport crash-fire-rescue personnel were standing by as the plane landed and sprayed foam on a small fire that broke out in one engine.
Company officials declined comment, but an employee said the plane is a model E twin-engine Beech.
Cessna heading to Palmyra Atoll
A Cessna 421-C Golden Eagle was scheduled to take off today from Honolulu to retrieve 12 Nature Conservancy supporters stranded on Palmyra Atoll, 1,100 miles to the south-southwest.
Pacific Air Charters got approval from the Federal Aviation Administration yesterday afternoon to fly the Cessna, which requires an additional fuel tank to make the long-range flight.
A turboprop plane that dropped the group off was supposed to make the pickup but blew an engine Saturday in Honolulu.
The Cessna will shuttle the group to Christmas Island, where a chartered jet will pick them up to fly to Honolulu and Louisiana.
The Cessna will be packing 20 pounds of bird seed for a macaw named Gulliver stranded on nearby Fanning Island.
A Hawaii pilot asked Pacific Air to transport the seed to the macaw while attempts are being made to permit him to bring the bird to Honolulu.
Gulliver was stranded on Fanning Island with Snickers, an 8-month-old dog, while their owners were rescued by a cargo ship that wouldn't allow the animals on board.
The owners and pets had spent three months adrift on a 48-foot boat, but the animals were left behind on the populated atoll.
A Las Vegas pet lover wanting to adopt both pets got help from a cruise ship and an airline to transport Snickers last week, but had trouble getting the permit for the bird.
The Nature Conservancy is paying for the flights.
Man sentenced in fuel theft
A man who pleaded no contest to taking a tanker truck from his employer without permission on two occasions and stealing more than 900 gallons of fuel will spend 30 days in jail.
A state judge also sentenced Steven Rivera yesterday to five years' probation and ordered him to pay his former employer, Hawaii Logistics Services, $3,747 in restitution.
Rivera, 48, pleaded no contest in February to two counts of unauthorized control of a private vehicle and one count of second-degree theft. The charges stem from two incidents in May 2006.
However, at his sentencing, Rivera said he believes he was framed. He said he pleaded no contest because he should have known better.
A company representative said yesterday he believes Rivera stole nearly 9,000 gallons of fuel and sold it to neighboring businesses in Campbell Industrial Park.
Police, Fire, Courts
Latest ATM thief strikes on Nimitz
Police are investigating the theft of cash from an automated teller machine, the fifth such case this month.
Police said they received a report about 2:15 a.m. yesterday that someone pried open the ATM at Byron's Drive-Inn at 3297 N. Nimitz Highway near the airport and stole an undisclosed amount of money.
Police do not have a description of the suspect, who is wanted for investigation of first-degree theft. Police did not disclose how much was taken but a first-degree theft case involves the theft of items or services valued at $20,000 or more.
Earlier this month, there were four ATM break-ins within days of each other. The spike in break-ins led Honolulu police to form an ATM theft task force within its strategic enforcement division.
Big Isle police ID drowning victim
Big Island police said an autopsy yesterday revealed a man whose body was found in Reed's Bay in Hilo drowned.
Police identified the man as Philip L. Monette, 76, of Pahoa.
Beach-goers found Monette's body Sunday floating in the water, police said.
Police have not ruled out foul play and were awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Rio Amon-Wilkins at 961-2386 or the police nonemergency number at 935-3311. Anonymous calls may be made to CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.
Police investigate decomposed body
An autopsy performed yesterday on a badly decomposed body of an elderly man found in Puna did not provide a cause of death, but no signs of foul play were detected, Big Island police said.
Police are investigating the death of the man whose body was found Monday in lower Puna.
A resident reported finding the remains near his property in the Kalapana Seaview Estates near a rustic cabin surrounded by waist-high vegetation, police said.
Because of the advanced stage of decomposition, it was impossible to immediately identify the body, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Reed Mahuna at 961-2384 or the nonemergency police line at 935-3311. Anonymous calls may be made to CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.