Air ambulance was in
good shape before crash

Federal investigators have determined an air ambulance was mechanically sound when the plane crashed on the Big Island, killing all three men aboard.

The twin-engine plane belonging to Hawaii Air Ambulance flew into bad weather before it went down Jan. 31, according to a preliminary report released yesterday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The accident claimed the lives of pilot Ron Laubacher and paramedics Mandy Shiraki and Daniel Villiaros. They crashed during a flight from Honolulu to Hilo, where they were to pick up an ailing 9-year-old boy.

Inspection of the wreckage of the Cessna 414A Chancellor showed the plane had power when it crashed on the slopes of Mauna Kea, the report said.

Engine components that weren't burned were in normal working order, and the plane apparently had no fuel problems, it said.


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