Two pilots of a Mokulele Airlines flight between Maui and the Big Island made a heroic and impressive emergency landing on Monday night, saving all 8 passengers on board.
The plane apparently lost all power shortly into its flight. One passenger, who wished to remain anonymous, told Hawaii News Now that, "It just went 'boom' and then there were some odd sounds after and there was a series of sparks and stuff flying out of the aircraft."
Sitting in total darkness and feeling as if the plane was going to stall, the passengers immediately knew something was wrong. Many called their families at home and the refrain of 'I love you' could be heard throughout the cabin.
Thankfully, the pilots were quick thinkers. They pointed the nose of the little plane down, which -- while terrifying for those on board -- allowed the plane to gain speed and glide over a longer distance. Jeff Erb, a commercial pilot and former flight instructor, told Hawaii News Now that the Cessna's small size made it easier for the pilots to maneuver.
"I give [the pilots] a 10, a 10-plus," he said. "Because anytime you can be in an emergency situation and lose power, you're coming down rapidly, you have very few options."
The pilots secured enough time to line themselves up over a Maui highway, but the unnamed passenger told Hawaii News Now that he still feared crashing into power lines, traffic lights or even cars.
"We were coming in roughly two or three times faster than a normal landing approach," he said.
One of the wings took out street signs on the approach. Passengers screamed during the rough landing, but the plane eventually skidded to a safe stop.
"Everybody was just sort of hugging each other and hugging the pilots and stuff," the passenger told Hawaii News Now.
Federal investigators are now inspecting the aircraft to figure out why it suddenly lost power.
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