Transportation

Airlines Vie for Kalaupapa Service

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The competition is becoming fierce between two airlines for the opportunity to serve the Kalaupapa community under a federal contract. Makani Kai and Mokulele airlines are two of the four companies that applied for subsidies to provide regular flights into the small, isolated settlement. In a show of hands last week, 77 out of 78 Kalaupapa residents attending presentations by both airlines voted in strong support of Makani Kai, which has been serving the peninsula for the past two years.

Community members say they appreciate the personalized service that Makani Kai and its owner Richard Schuman provides.

“More than once Richard Schuman always tells me, ‘if anything goes wrong in Kalaupapa, you call me and I will come there myself and pick up the people.’ That’s the kind of person he is,” said patient resident Gloria Marks at a community meeting at Kalaupapa’s McVeigh Hall last Tuesday.…

Pilot Explains West Molokai Accident

Monday, April 14th, 2014

For John Weiser, the pilot whose plane crashed on his west Molokai airstrip on Feb. 27, it was a 1 in 10,000 accident.

“I must have landed on this airstrip more than 10,000 times in the last 30 years with no trouble,” he said, adding that he has more than 20,000 pilot hours logged. “When I came in to land that day, I was off-center. I should have turned around and come back, but instead, I did the turn and when I rolled out, I was in the trees.”

Weiser said his private grass airstrip on his Papohaku property has runway lights, and though some are out, he still lands at night, as he did on Feb.…

Molokai Says Goodbye to Island Air

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Molokai Says Goodbye to Island Air

On April 1, Island Air took off from Molokai for the last time after the company announced last month that it would end its service to the island. Terry Cole is an air traffic controller on Molokai and snapped this shot from the tower.

“There were quite a few cars parked on the hill waving goodbye, and the pilot expressed his sadness about not coming back,” she said.

Island Air CEO Paul Casey told the Dispatch that the company waited until it was “sure that the residents of Molokai had adequate service” before deciding to “redeploy our aircraft to another route that needs more capacity.”

Island Air had eight full-time and seven part-time employees based on Molokai, the longest of whom has worked for the company more than 25 years, according to Casey.…

Hawaiian Airlines Welcomed Back

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Hawaiian Airlines Welcomed Back

As Hawaiian Airlines officially launched its new service, `Ohana by Hawaiian, to Molokai last week, hundreds of residents and officials celebrated an occasion that for many, felt like a homecoming for the company.

“Molokai has been part of our ohana for the last 85 years,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines (HA) president and CEO. “For the last 10 years, we have not been able to operate here, but every single one of those days in between we’ve been working on plans to bring this wonderful day to fruition. It’s great to be back and have had such tremendous support from this community.”

Under sunny skies, a crowd turned out to welcome the aircraft, greeting its arrival with oli and lei from Molokai residents preschool-aged through kupuna.…

Facts Lacking in West Molokai Plane Crash

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The crash of a small plane on Molokai’s west end on Thursday, Feb. 27 went unreported for days, and information on the event is still missing. Last week, authorities identified the pilot as John Weiser, Jr., owner of Panda Ranch and grass air strip in the Papohaku area.

Weiser was flying a twin-engine Partenavia P68 Observer, reportedly at night, but it is currently unknown whether the crash occurred during take-off or landing, according to Ian Gregor, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Pacific Division public affairs manager. A man who found the damaged aircraft reported it to the FAA on Saturday, March 1.…

Island Air to End Molokai Service

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Island Air will discontinue service to Molokai after April 1. In a five-sentence announcement last week, the airline said all Molokai-based employees will be offered transfer elsewhere within the company. Customers with confirmed reservations to or from the island after April 1 can either transfer their ticket to another airline or receive a refund.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian Airlines’ neighbor island service `Ohana by Hawaiian has announced its plans to begin flying to Molokai starting March 11.

“Now that we are certain the island of Molokai will have adequate air service to match its needs, we have decided to redeploy our aircraft to another route that needs more capacity,” Island Air CEO Paul Casey told the Dispatch via email.…

Ohana By Hawaiian Starts Molokai Service March 11

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Ohana By Hawaiian Starts Molokai Service March 11

Hawaiian Airlines News Release

Tickets for Hawaii’s newest interisland operation, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian,  are now available for its long-awaited turboprop service from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Molokai Airport (MKK) and Lanai Airport (LNY) by booking online at HawaiianAirlines.com. Three daily flights to MKK will launch on Tues., March 11 and twice daily service to LNY will begin Tues. March 18. In celebration of the launch, the airline is offering a special fare of $59 each way for tickets booked through Mon., Feb. 17 for travel through April 17, 2014 to both destinations.

“As Hawaii’s first airline, this new operation anchors us to our legacy and vision to connect all of our island communities through flight, making it easier for kama`aina and visitors alike to share time together,” said Hadden Watt, managing director of ‘Ohana by Hawaiian.…

Hawaiian Airlines to Serve Molokai This Year

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Hawaiian Airlines plans to begin service to Molokai and Lanai this year, and the certification process to launch its new subsidiary, Ohana by Hawaiian, has resumed. After 2013 budget sequestration caused delays in certification through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Hawaiian officials say things are back on track.

In the fall of 2012, Hawaiian Airlines announced its plans to add Molokai and Lanai to their itinerary, anticipated to begin in 2013. The start date was pushed back several times, and there is still no estimated timeframe.

Alison Croyle, director of external communications, confirmed that the airlines is in the third of four phases in the certification process.…

Kalaupapa Aircraft Wreckage to be Recovered, Under Investigation

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Kalaupapa Aircraft Wreckage to be Recovered, Under Investigation

After a Makani Kai aircraft crashed into the ocean off Kalaupapa last Wednesday, Makani Kai owner Richard Schuman said the Cessna Grand Caravan will be recovered this week.

“We know what happened, but not why,” Schuman told the Dispatch Sunday. “One way or another, we’ll get that aircraft out… and get the engine to the manufacturer [for answers.]”

The Makani Kai flight departing Kalaupapa about 3:45 p.m. experienced “catastrophic engine failure” shortly after take-off, according to pilot Clyde Kawasaki. The plane went down about 1/2 mile off the peninsula. Eight on board survived, while Department of Health (DOH) Director Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking plane.…

HI Boaters Must Complete Boating Education

Monday, December 16th, 2013

DNLR News Release

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is reminding Hawaii boaters they now have less a year’s time to take a boating safety course approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators and the State of Hawaii.  Hawaii Administrative Rule 13-244-15.5 requiring operators of motorized vessels in state waters to take a safety course became effective on Nov. 10, 2012.

Enforcement of the new rule will begin on the second anniversary of the rule’s effective date, on Nov. 10, 2014. After that date in 2014, boaters will be required to show proof of successful completion of an approved boating safety course.…