Pilot survives after Cessna flips over on airport runway
The Maui News
A student pilot flying a single-engine Cessna solo failed to avoid the wake turbulence of a heavy jet while approaching the runway, which resulted in loss of control and a hard landing at Maui Airport, the National Transportation Safety Board said in assessing the probable cause of the March 17 crash.
A single-engine Cessna flipped over after a hard landing at maui airport on March 17. According to a report issued June 29 from the National Transportation Safety Board, student pilot Paula Whiteley of Makawao failed to avoid the wake turbulence of a heavy jet while approaching the runway, which resulted in the loss of control. State Department of Transportation photos
Upcountry resident Paula Whiteley, 50 on the day of the crash, suffered minor injuries in the nose-over landing on the main runway. The Cessna 172 had “substantial damage” to the right wing, lift struts and empennage, the crash factual report said.
In its probably cause report issued June 29, the NTSB said the pilot was instructed by the air traffic tower controller to follow a heavy jet airplane. She saw the jetliner and confirmed it with the tower controller, who then cleared the pilot to land behind the heavy jet and provided a caution for wake turbulence.
“As she maintained a final approach to land ‘past the numbers’ and prepared for the landing flare, the wings suddenly rolled right, and the nose dropped. She attempted to correct, but the airplane landed hard, skidded off the runway, and nosed over,” the probable cause report said.
While the plane was being removed from the runway, a couple of Mainland flights were diverted to Kona International Airport on Hawaii island, said Maui District Airports Manager Marvin Moniz.
The student pilot had an estimated 78 hours of total flight time and four hours as pilot in command, the probable cause report said.
The flight originated from Hana Airport at 8:45 a.m. Winds were calm and skies clear during landing at about 9:15 a.m., the report said.
The registered owner of the four seater Cessna 172, built in 1977, is Fly Maui LLC.