Hawaii Police Department
South Hilo Patrol
Acting Sergeant Aubrey Auna
January 18, 2009
Report No. C09001895
Hawaii Police and Fire Department personnel responded to a report that a small airplane made a hard landing near the Hilo drag strip Sunday (January 18) at 7:10 a.m.
Thomas Downey, 79, of Hilo was piloting his home-built experimental single-engine biplane at an altitude of 2,500 feet when the engine failed. He attempted to make an emergency landing at the drag strip but landed outside the perimeter fence.
He sustained only a minor injury to a finger and did not require hospitalization.
The airplane sustained damages to the wings and landing gear.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified and informed of the circumstances of the crash.
The Hawaii Police Department classified the case as an aircraft accident.