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Last updated: 2 December 2021
Date:Saturday 28 October 1989
Time:18:37 HST
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
Operator:Aloha IslandAir
Registration: N707PV
MSN: 400
First flight: 1973
Total airframe hrs:19875
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 18 / Occupants: 18
Total:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 20
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Hoolehua-Molokai Airport, HI (MKK) (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 183 m (600 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Kahului Airport, HI (OGG/PHOG), United States of America
Destination airport:Molokai/Kaunakakai Airport, HI (MKK/PHMK), United States of America
Aloha IslandAir Flight 1712 departed Kahului at 18:25 for a 25-minute VFR flight to Kaunakakai. The aircraft climbed to 1000 feet and descended to 500 feet at 18:30. The plane struck a 27deg rocky slope on the north-eastern slopes of the coastal mountains on the island of Molokai at around 600 feet.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The decision of the captain to continue flight under visual flight rules at night into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), which obscured rising mountainous terrain. Contributing to the accident was the inadequate supervision of personnel, training, and operations by Aloha IslandAir management. Also contributing to the accident was the insufficient oversight during a period of rapid operational expansion and corporate growth."
Board member Jim Burnett filed the following dissenting statement on the Probable Cause: "I would add to the statement of probable cause the following additional language: Also contributing to the accident was the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration to require a Ground Proximity Warning System for Part 135 aircraft."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-90-05
Download report: Final report

VFR flight in IMC
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» NTSB/AAR-90/05

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 11 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-300-N707PV

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Kahului Airport, HI to Molokai/Kaunakakai Airport, HI as the crow flies is 74 km (46 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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DHC-6 Twin Otter

  • 930+ built
  • 146th loss
  • 97th fatal accident
  • 6th worst accident (at the time)
  • 11th worst accident (currently)
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