MAUI, Hawaii — The pilot of a single engine Cirrus SR-22 aircraft was rescued after he ditched his plane 253 miles northeast of Maui, Hawaii. The pilot deployed the plane’s parachute system after the aircraft ran out of fuel Sunday afternoon.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the pilot deployed the plane’s airframe parachute system just before 5 p.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. In simpler terms, the plane is small enough to have its own parachute.
The Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu found a cruise ship called Veendam that was near where the pilot was going to run out of fuel. The center was able to get a hold of Veendam, and the crew of the cruise ship rescued the pilot.
The pilot was reported to be in good condition, and the plane was last seen partially submerged, according to the release.
Weather conditions at the time of the rescue were seas of 9 to 12 feet and winds of 25 to 28 miles per hour.
The Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point assisted the pilot during the process of ditching his aircraft, and kept in contact with him throughout the ditching process. The Hercules crew remained on scene until the pilot was safely aboard the Veendam.
The flight originated in Tracy, California and was destined for Kahului Maui.
Just over 4 hours before the plane went down, the pilot called the Hawaii National Guard to report his plane had around three hours of fuel remaining. He said he would be ditching 230 miles north east of Maui; his prediction wasn’t too far off.