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.…

Fuddy Given Final Salute on Molokai

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Fuddy Given Final Salute on Molokai

Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy was given a final salute when her casket left Molokai Monday morning. Molokai Fire Rescue and Police personnel accompanied her body to the airport, where it was flown to Honolulu.

“We saved eight,” paramedic Scotty Schaefer reminded fellow emergency responders, “because of what you did… We gave her a chance…Loretta was family to us.”

Fuddy was a passenger on Makaki Kai plane leaving Kalaupapa Wednesday that experienced engine failure and landed in the water just off the peninsula. Fuddy died in the water after exiting the plane.

Photos by Catherine Cluett/All Rights Reserved.


8 Survivors, 1 Death in Makani Kai Kalaupapa Crash — UPDATED

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

8 Survivors, 1 Death in Makani Kai Kalaupapa Crash — UPDATED

Survivors were airlifted from Kalaupapa to waiting ambulances in Kalae, Molokai. Photo by Catherine Cluett/All Rights Reserved The Molokai Dispatch

Updated Thursday, 12/12 at 3 p.m.

A Makani Kai flight departing Kalaupapa this afternoon crashed into the water about 3:45 p.m. shortly after take-off about 1/2 mile off the peninsula last night. Eight on board the Cessna Grand Caravan survived, while Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking plane.

The pilot, Clyde Kawasaki, has been flying for Makani Kai for one year. He previously worked as a pilot for Aloha Airlines and has experience working thousands of hours of flight time, according to a Makani Kai representative.…

Airport Construction on Hold in Kalaupapa

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Airport Construction on Hold in Kalaupapa

The Kalaupapa airport will soon be receiving a long awaited fire truck garage and services. However, with design discrepancies on where to place the garage and a strict timeline, the project might be delayed further, postponing safety services Kalaupapa residents seek.

A team of designers and engineers as well as representatives from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) presented a design scheme to Kalaupapa residents Nov. 12, seeking public input and approval to move forward with the project.

In 2010, the Kalaupapa airport was scheduled to receive a fire truck and a team of Maui County firefighters who would rotate in 42-hour work shifts, according to Department of Health Kalaupapa Administrator Mark Miller.…

Airlines Compete to Serve Kalaupapa

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Kalaupapa is regarded as one of the most isolated communities in the country. With 2,000-foot cliffs separating the peninsula from topside Molokai and no outside road access, the only way to and from the settlement is by foot, mule or plane. As Makani Kai Airlines reaches the end of their two-year federal contract to provide Kalaupapa with affordable airfare, they—along with three other airlines—are bidding to offer subsidized service to the settlement’s residents and visitors beginning in January 2014.

The Essential Airline Service (EAS) is a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) program that provides small, rural communities access to major national and international airport hubs though a subsidized commuter airline system.…

Island Air to Decrease Molokai Flights Again

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Air carrier Island Air is once again decreasing the number of flights the carrier offers to Molokai — this time to two per day, starting in November.

“The decision is pretty simple,” said Island Air CEO Paul Casey, who took the position two months ago. “We’re matching capacity with demand.”

In March, the company cancelled all its flights between Molokai and Maui, and in May, decreased flights between Molokai and Honolulu from five to three per day.

At that time, then-president Les Murashige told the Dispatch the Molokai schedule reduction was temporary.

“Our intent is to put additional flights back [between Molokai and Honolulu] in August or September,” said Murashige in March.…

Makani Kai Air Offers $39 Fare

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Makani Kai News Release

Makani Kai Air is offering a special $39 fare between Honolulu and Molokai as a means of introducing itself to the traveling public. The $39 fare, which is being offered for a limited time only and must be made online at, includes all fees and taxes. The airline, which began its topside Molokai service in June of this year, has up to eight daily round trip flights between Honolulu and Molokai.

“This special fare is to thank the local people who have embraced Makani Kai and helped make our entry into the market a success,” said Richard Schuman, president of Makani Kai Air.…

Molokai Electric Vehicle Movement

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Molokai transportation may recharge as eco-energy specialists and community members have begun brainstorming how to introduce more electric vehicles (EV), charging stations, and energy and cost efficient ways to power them on the island.

“Molokai is an absolutely perfect fit for electric vehicles,” said Ethan Elkind, an EV expert and climate policy associate from the University of California Berkeley School of Law.

Elkind met with Molokai residents last Wednesday to discuss the long process of increasing EV drivers on the island. They discussed some of the obstacles Molokai faces including lack of on-island EV dealers, charging stations, and costly energy rates, which inhibit large-scale EV adoption.…

Bringing Electric Vehicles to Molokai

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Maui Electric Vehicle Alliance News Release

Molokai residents know all too well about high gas prices.  The island has some of the highest in the nation.  Electric vehicles – cars that can plug in to the electricity grid for some or all of their power – promise relief from these high costs.  Plus, they offer a sustainable and energy-independent way to get around the island, reinforcing the island ethic of caring for the environment.

A few Molokai residents have managed to purchase electric vehicles, taking advantage of a current price war among the automakers and new lease deals that remove high upfront costs. …