By Aloha Pete | AuxBeacon News Contributor
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“Another elderly Civil Air Patrol pilot has fatally crashed. See links.”
HONOLULU — Officials have identified former Kauai Fire Department Captain William “Uncle Billy” Enoka, 78, as one of the two passengers who died in the plane crash at Dillingham Airfield over the weekend.
The other passenger who was killed in the single-engine Cessna 305 plane crash [N65070] at the airport northwest of Honolulu has been identified as Richard Rogers, 70.
Rogers was from Haleiwa, a town near Dillingham Airfield where the plane crashed.
Enoka, from Kapaa, was a retired captain of the Kauai Fire Department, a training pilot and aircraft maintenance officer with Civil Air Patrol, a father and a friend to many on the island.
“He was the fixer of all things broken, the trainer of all things that flew. If Bill said it would work, it would work,” said Kauai Composite Squadron Commander Joseph Quentin. “I don’t know that he did helicopters, but he could tell you how almost every plane on the Kauai airfield worked. More important than that, he was a great friend.”
Quentin came to Kauai as a pilot, but trained with Enoka through Civil Air Patrol evaluations. He can recall with perfect clarity the first time Enoka gave him a ‘kudos’ on a landing.
Noreen Price, an NTSB aviation accident investigator, said the Cessna Ector 305A Mountaineer that went down was 200 feet in the air when it veered right, lost power and crashed.
“This airplane yawed like this and then came down and then rolled rapidly left and impacted the ground,” she said.
The NTSB has ruled out weather as a factor in the crash.
Price said since the plane lost power, the crash could have been caused by a mechanical issue.
The pilot could have also intentionally shut off the engine if there was an emergency.
“Pilots can also cut engine power themselves, which for an emergency if you are about to crash, the procedures you are supposed to do is shut down an engine,” Price said.
The plane was doing what’s called touch and go ― a training maneuver for practicing landings and takeoffs quickly. They were on their second touch and go.