Owner, passenger die in Big Island crash of motorized glider
By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer
The owner of a Big Island motorized glider touring company and a female passenger died this morning when their aircraft crashed and sank in Kealakekua Bay about 15 miles south of Kailua-Kona.
Big Island police identified the pilot as 38-year-old Tedd Robert Hecklin, owner of Tedd's Flying Adventures in Kailua-Kona and his passenger as 37-year-old Kathryn Grace Moran of Kailua, Kona.
Big Island firefighters received a report of the crash at 9:36 a.m., 20 minutes after the Airborne Outback XT-912 SST Tundra micro-light aircraft departed from the Kona airport.
Eyewitnesses on commercial boat tours in Kealakekua Bay said the aircraft was banking left when they heard a loud popping sound, observed the aircraft's wing fold up and then saw the plane fall into the ocean.
Occupants from the commercial boats trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation attempted CPR on the pilot and passenger but were unsuccessful at reviving them.
The victims were transported to the Kealakekua boat ramp. Firefighters then took them to Kona Community Hospital, where both were pronounced dead.
Autopsies have been ordered to determine the exact cause of both deaths.
The aircraft is registered with the Federal Aviation Administration as a glider with a four-cycle engine that uses "weight-shift control."