What: Alpine Air twin-engine beechcraft 1900 en route from Honolulu to Lihue carrying 4,200 pounds of mail for the U.S. Postal Service.
When: Plane went missing after takeoff Monday 4:45 a.m.
Who: Pilot's name is not released.
Why: The pilot is missing; as the pilot was a surfer, they are hoping he is still alive, as a life raft was found. According to air traffic controllers, they found that the aircraft had dropped roughly 2,200 feet. There was no distress call made. Rescue crews found a piece of the door, a piece of the nose and a shoe.
The Preliminary NTSB report is as follows:
On January 14, 2008, at 0508 Hawaiian standard time, N410UB, a Beech 1900C, was lost from radar over the ocean about 7 miles south of the Lihue Airport, Lihue, Hawaii, located on the island of Kauai. Alpine Aviation Inc., doing business as Alpine Air, was operating the airplane as an on-demand cargo flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 135. The airline transport pilot was killed, and the airplane was destroyed. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Honolulu International Airport, Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, at 0443, and was destined for Lihue.
According to the operator, the pilot was making his first flight after coming off of a two day scheduled rest period. The purpose of the flight was to transfer mail to Lihue, and then the pilot was to return to Honolulu later the same day. The flight was scheduled to arrive at Lihue about 0515.
The Coast Guard indicated that debris from the airplane was initially identified floating on the ocean surface at 0848, approximately 11 miles south-southwest of the airport. The water depths in the search area were up to 800 fathoms (4,800 feet). Additional debris was identified and collected and then transported to the Coast Guard station at Lihue. The Coast Guard discontinued the search on the afternoon of January 15.
An Airport Duty Operations Controller was conducting an airport inspection while the accident airplane was approaching the airport. He recalled that he heard a pilot who identified himself as Alpine Air state that he was, "...landing 35 and 7 miles out." Airport personnel reported that the runway lights, medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights (MALSR), and precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lights for runway 35, were recorded as functional at the time of the accident.
The following weather conditions were reported at Lihue Airport at 0453: wind from 030 at 23 knots with gusts to 27 knots, 10 miles visibility, cloud layers scattered at 4,100 feet and overcast at 5,500 feet, temperature 20 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and the altimeter setting was 30.13 inches of Mercury.