Small plane crash lands in Ookala UPDATED

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OOKALA, Hawaii: Big Island authorities report that small plan crash landed along the Hamakua Coast today.

Hawaii County Police issued this release on Thursday:

A small plane with one occupant crash-landed in Oʻokala on Thursday (April 19), injuring the pilot.

At 10:45 a.m., North Hilo officers responded to the Oʻokala Dairy road, near the 30-mile marker of Route 19 (Hawaii Belt Road), where they found the pilot—a 68-year-old Hilo man—seriously injured.

He had attempted an emergency landing onto a newly planted corn field after his two-seat single-engine propeller airplane reportedly lost power due to engine failure. Fire Department rescue personnel extricated him from the plane and airlifted him to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

An investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to arrive at the scene later today.

The Hawaii County Fire Department says there was no fire, nor any fuel spilled at the scene.

UPDATE: Police report that the pilot is being air-lifted to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition.

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