Crashed plane to be inspected at airport


POSTED: Thursday, January 14, 2010

The wreckage of a single-engine Piper Cherokee that crashed in the Koolau Mountains, killing two people, will be airlifted tomorrow to a private hangar at Honolulu Airport, where its airframe will be examined by an federal investigator.

Killed in Sunday's crash at the top of the Lanipo Trail at Maunalani Heights were veterinarian Nicholas Palumbo, 81, and his son Timothy, 20.

Zoe Keliher, National Transportation Safety Board investigator, said she plans to do “;a tear-down examination”; of the aircraft on Saturday to examine its airframe and engine.

Keliher also wants to examine the logbook of pilot Palumbo, who has been flying for more than 60 years, as well as the logbook of the aircraft, which is owned by Palumbo.

However, she said she hasn't been able to contact Palumbo's widow, Sue, to get both documents.

Keliher flew yesterday over the crash site, which is precariously perched on a steep ravine at the 1,900-foot level of the Koolaus, and decided it was not safe for her and a representative of the aircraft manufacturer to inspect the aircraft there.

A memorial service will be held Saturday for Nicholas and Timothy Palumbo beginning at noon at Star of the Sea Church in Kahala.

Burial will be held on Lanai on Sunday at a yet-to-be-announced time.

The Palumbos were returning to Oahu from their weekly visit to Lanai, where Nicholas had a veterinary practice and a home.

Nicholas Palumbo had made the trip every weekend for 40 years.