Hawaii Life Flight aircraft was used for medical transport and lost contact with the radar 27 km away from Hana, Maui while it was on its way to pick up a patient in Waimea, Big Island.
Medical transport aircraft
A medical transport aircraft with 3 crew members went missing on an aircraft between Maui and the Big Island. According to Xinhua news reports, citing a tweet from the US Coast Guard, the Hawaii Life Flight aircraft was a King Air twin-engine prop aircraft.
According to the US Coast Guard, the Honolulu Control Facility reported losing radar contact with the aircraft about 15 nautical miles offshore south of Hana, Maui.
“Global Medical Response can ensure that 1 of our Hawaii Life Flight emergency fixed-wing aircraft based in Maui went off the radar while en route to pick up a patient in Waimea, Big Island,” the company report issued Friday, December 16, 2022, stated.
The patient was not on the aircraft, which lost radar contact at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, December 15, 2022, it stated. “our all team member is in the process of reaching out to their families,” the report told.
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The company is also assisting search and rescue teams. The Coast Guard stated aircraft controllers lost radar contact with the plane about 17 miles (27 kilometers) south of Hana, Maui, in the Maui Channel of the Pacific Ocean.
The Coast Guard told one of its aircraft spotted a sheen in the search area. It also said one of its patrol boats recovered debris in the area, but it stated there was no confirmation that it was from the missing aircraft.
Hawaii Life Flight transports
Global Medical Response said it has temporarily paused Hawaii Life Flight transports. Governor Josh Green gave an emergency proclamation permitting the state to supplement Hawaii’s medical flight capacity with aircraft and crew members from other states.
Green stated he’s coordinating with Hawaii Life Flight and state, county, and federal agencies to ensure uninterrupted emergency transport between Hawaii’s islands.
Many hospitals on Hawaii’s more rural islands are small and offer limited medical services compared to Honolulu’s larger hospitals. Patients with more serious, urgent conditions often must be transported to Oahu for care.
Green is also a physician and long worked as an emergency room doctor on the Big Island before becoming governor this month.
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