Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 9:33 a.m., Friday, March 10, 2006

Air Ambulance pilot had previous crash

Advertiser Staff

The pilot of a Hawaii Air Ambulance airplane that crashed and burned while approaching Kahului Airport on Maui Wednesday night was involved in a previous incident in July 2005 that left a different airplane substantially damaged, but resulted in no injuries.

According to a preliminary accident report compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board, pilot Peter Miller was at the controls of a privately owned, twin-engine Piper Apache airplane when the plane's landing gear collapsed during a landing on July 1, 2005, at Honolulu International Airport. Miller, 32, and two other crew members were killed in the Wednesday night crash.

According to a synopsis of the prior accident, Miller, a certified flight instructor, had a student with him in the plane and the two were practicing an engine shut-down procedure while in the air. Miller had the student shut down the plane's left engine which subsequently could not be restarted.

Because the left engine powers a hydraulic pump that services the plane's landing gear, the pump had to be operated manually to get the landing gear into position for landing.

Miller took control of the plane and returned to the airport. When the airplane touched down, the landing gear collapsed and it veered to the left. Approximately four feet of the left wing tip were sheared off when the wing came in contact with a taxiway light.

The report is only preliminary and did not assess any responsibility or blame for the incident to Miller or anyone else.