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2 killed when small plane crashes during training flight on Kauaʻi

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Two men died after their small airplane crashed in steep, mountainous terrain on the northwest side of Kauaʻi, officials said Monday.

A pilot and co-pilot were on board the Cessna 172, which crashed about 13 miles (21 kilometers) north of Kekaha on Sunday afternoon. Kauaʻi police identified the two as James Degnan, 76, of Princeville, and David Parker, 78, of Kapaʻa.

The flight was operated by the Civil Air Patrol as a mission training exercise, the National Transportation Safety Board said. The flight was conducting monthly tsunami warning practice runs, Kauaʻi police said.

An auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, the Civil Air Patrol was established shortly after the United States entered World War II and still carries out emergency service missions when needed, according to its website.

Firefighters responded to the scene Sunday afternoon after receiving reports of a possible aircraft crash.

They located the crash site in a remote area below the Kalalau Lookout but had to suspend recovery efforts due to dangerous weather conditions and low visibility.

Fire officials recovered the bodies at 10 a.m. Monday, police said.

NTSB personnel from Alaska will be in charge of the investigation.

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