Makani Kai pilot reacts to plane crash videoUPDATED 8:25 PM HST Jan 10, 2014Video Transcript
Kalaupapa shows the moment of impact and what happened after eight passengers and a pilot entered the water. The pilot, 60-year-old Clyde Kawasaki speaks to KITV4 tonight about that video and what it was like to survive the ditching. KITV4's Andrew Pereira has the story ... all new at six. Andrew? Kenny, Paula... Kawasaki says he still gets butterflies when watching the video shot by passenger Ferdinand Puentes. Kawasaki says he WILL fly again, and believes the Dec. 11 crash was the first successful ditching of a Cessna Grand Caravan. It's the eye-popping moments leading up to impact a half mile off Kalaupapa. "SPLASH" Behind the controls is Makani Kai pilot Clyde Kawasaki. With moments to react... Panic's not an option. THIS is why pilots train extensively. CLYDE KAWASAKI: "WHEN THE ENGINE LET GO I DIDN'T EVEN THINK, 'OH, WHY ME? OR, OH EXPLETIVE DELETED KIND OF THING YOU KNOW. IT WAS JUST OK REACTION . I MEAN, OK NO POWER, SHOVE THE NOSE DOWN, I'VE GOT BUNCH OF LIGHTS, FIRE WARNINGS GOING OFF. DO I SMELL SOMETHING? I SMELLED A LITTLE BIT OF OIL, I REMEMBER THAT." The jaw-dropping video shot by passenger Ferdindand Puentes is now making international headlines. Kawasaki saw it a day after the Dec. 11 crash, but could only watch for a few moments... emotions were still too raw. CLYDE KAWASAKI: "DISTURBING YEAH, IT WAS VERY DISTURBING." Kawasaki says watching again helps him piece together the sequence of events. The first thing he remembers is making sure the Cessna Grand Caravan did not catapult upside down. CLYDE KAWASAKI: "KEEP THE NOSE DOWN, KEEP THE AIR SPEED UP. ARE WE GOING TO MAKE SHORE? NO. WE'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE LAND. OK, GET READY FOR DITCHING AND KEEP WINGS LEVEL AND HIT THE WATER AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE." It was a text book maneuver experts say gave Kawasaki and his eight passengers a chance to get out alive. CLYDE KAWASAKI: "AS FAR AS I KNOW WE'RE THE FIRST PEOPLE TO EVER SURVIVE A DITCHING IN A CARAVAN WITHOUT FLIPPING." Perhaps most remarkable is the reaction of those on board... something that also struck a chord with Kawasaki. CLYDE KAWASAKI: "NO PANIC, NO SWEARING, NO PUSHING, NO SHOVING... LET ME OUT OF HERE FIRST... NONE OF THAT. I MEAN EVERYBODY WAS HELPING EVERYBODY." The video shows passengers entering the ocean as water rushes into the plane. Kawasaki was briefly knocked unconscious, bleeding from his forehead after hitting the control panel. CLYDE KAWASAKI: "THE FLEETING THOUGHT, 'OH, SHARK,' AND THEN THAT'S WHEN IT'S LIKE THE WATER WAS UP TO HERE. I SAID, 'I THINK I BETTER GET OUT OF HERE." Like clockwork, help arrived in the time Kawasaki expected ... About 45 minutes after ditching the plane. CLYDE KAWASAKI: "ELATION... I WAS SO HAPPY." But Kawasaki's joy was tempered when he heard state Health Director Loretta Fuddy had died. CLYDE KAWASAKI: "THAT WAS PRETTY HARD TO TAKE. STILL IS." This past Wednesday, Kawasaki and Puentes returned to Molokai on a Makani Kai plane. Kawasaki flew as a passenger, still contemplating the ditching that could have been his final flight. CLYDE KAWASAKI: "AND I LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW AND I COULD SEE FERDINAND LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW AND THAT BAY WHERE WE WERE. AND BOTH OF US HAD TEARS IN OUR EYES YOU KNOW, CAUSE THAT COULD HAVE BEEN OUR GRAVES OUT THERE." Kawasaki expects to be cleared to fly again early next month. He doesn't know how much longer he'll do it, but like an old friend, he's looking forward to it. Kawasaki has more than 45 years of flying experience. Paula?