Hilo man slightly injured in Sunday plane crash
A Hilo man escaped serious injury yesterday when the home-built, experimental biplane he was piloting made a hard landing near the Hilo dragstrip.
Big Island police and firefighters were called to the scene about 7:10 a.m.
Police said Thomas Downey, 79, of Hilo was piloting his single-engine airplane at an altitude of 2,500 feet when the engine failed. He attempted to make an emergency landing a the drag strip but landed outside the perimeter fence.
He sustained only a minor injury to a finger and did not require hospitalization, police said.
The airplane sustained damages to the wings and landing gear.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified and informed of the circumstances of the crash.
The Hawaii Police Department classified the case as an aircraft accident.