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POSTED: Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Airline halts flights to train crews

Mokulele Airlines canceled about 16 flights yesterday after the Federal Aviation Administration asked the interisland carrier to cease operations and give its cabin crews required training in the use of life preservers and fire extinguishers.

"All passengers affected by (the) cancellations were re-accommodated on other carriers and will be compensated due to the inconvenience," airline officials said in a statement. Mokulele operates 56 daily flights to seven Hawaii cities.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the agency discovered during a routine inspection that Mokulele had failed to provide training that's required under the airline's operating regulations. The FAA asked Mokulele to cease operations yesterday.

"We were notified ... of a technicality in our training manual regarding the use of fire extinguishers," the airline's statement said. "As a safety measure we voluntarily grounded our flights. We have since updated our training procedures for our flight crew. Our crew has been trained on the proper use of the fire extinguishers and flights were resumed this afternoon."

A company spokeswoman did not have an estimate on the number of passengers affected.

Last week, Mokulele announced plans to double its work force as it joins forces with Indiana-based Republic Airways to expand interisland service next month. Mokulele is to operate up to four 70-seat Embraer 170 jets between Honolulu, Kona and Lihue starting Nov. 19.

 

Shark sighting triggers warning

A shark sighting off Kailua yesterday prompted lifeguards to post signs warning beach-goers to stay out of the water.

City emergency services spokesman Bryan Cheplic said the size and type of shark were unknown but that it was showing no aggressive behavior.

A lifeguard lieutenant spotted the shark at 1:40 p.m. at Kalama Beach Park, Cheplic said. The signs were taken down later in the afternoon.

 

Disney gives college $40,000 grant

"Morning Light" documentary producer Roy E. Disney presented a $40,000 check to Honolulu Community College this week to thank the college for its help in making the film.

The Marine Education Training Center at Honolulu CC served as a location for training of the "Morning Light" crew and as a boat yard for repairs and maintenance of the sloop.

The documentary tells the story of a group of young men and women as they train and race a high-performance 52-foot sloop in the Transpac California-to-Hawaii sailing race.