Honolulu, HI Skydiving Plane Crash, Dec 1981
11 SKYDIVERS KILLED IN PEARL HARBOR CRASH.
Honolulu (AP) -- An airplane taking skydivers to a football game jump sputtered and spun into Pearl Harbor near the USS Arizona Memorial, officials said. Eleven of the 12 people believed to be aboard were killed.
One man was pulled alive from the harbor by three men who saw the plane go down.
Authorities first were told 13 people were aboard by the man who was found alive. Later, other members of the Jump Hawaii sports parachutist club said 12 were aboard, a Navy spokesman said.
However, a search was continuing Sunday in case the first report proved accurate, said Jerry Lambert of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base.
Club vice president Stephen Fischel identified three of those aboard the twin-engine Beechcraft as club president BYRON BLACK and two of his sons, DANNY, who was piloting the aircraft, and BOBBY.
Six bodies were recovered Saturday night by Navy and Coast Guard rescue crews and taken to the city morgue. Five bodies were discovered Sunday, the Navy said.
No names were released by authorities.
Search operations had been suspended at 1:45 a.m.Sunday because the shallow waters in the area posed a danger to boats, said Richard Rothrock, deputy public affairs officer for the Pearl Harbor Naval Base. Searchers were sent out again at daybreak.
The parachutists were scheduled to jump into nearby Aloha Stadium before the start of a football game between the University of Hawaii and the University of South Carolina.
Ten minutes before the 7:10 p.m. crash, the plane contacted the control tower at Honolulu International Airport for the last time, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman George Miyachi.
The pilot radioed he was climbing to 3,500 feet in preparation for the jump, Miyachi said.
Nolin Brede, who helped pull MIKE SALMONS from the water, said he saw the plane coming down in a spin and its "motors were reved up real high" when it hit.
The plane crashed into 3 1/2 feet of water on a reef near Fort Island, about 250 yards from the USS Arizona Memorial to those who died there during the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Rothrock said there was speculation that the pilot of the plane may have been trying to land on the island.
By the time Brede and his friends reached the wreckage, only the tail of the plane was visible, he said.
SALMONS, 34, was picked up about 25 yards from the wreckage and taken to a hospital for treatment of a broken leg.
"I decided I didn't want to stay in there. The others decided to stay with the plane. It did all kinds of crazy stuff," said SALMONS, who said he was sitting closest to the door.
"I jumped and three others also jumped," the veteran diver said in a telephone interview from his hospital bed, but those who followed him did not have enough altitude left to deploy their chutes.
Wisconsin State Journal Madison 1984-12-07
List of Casualties:
BYRON BLACK, club president.
DANNY BLACK, pilot, and Byron's son.
BOBBY BLACK, Byron's son.
ROY A. ZINNA.
STEVE L. HERALD.
JAMES R. WHITING, JR.
GEORGE R. CORDES.
JAMES L. LATHROP.
CHARLES L. KNAEBEL.