What happens in the cabin of a plane when the passengers realize they are about to crash? What are those last few moments like – harrowing turmoil or serene calm in the face of terror? The latter would seem to be the case, at least for one Hawaiian man, whose video capturing his plane's emergency water landing has gone viral.
The 2002 Makani Kai Air Cessna held nine passengers, in addition to the pilot. The small jet was making a “puddlejump” from Molokai, Hawaii, to Honolulu when the engines suddenly failed and the plane went down into the Pacific.
One passenger was killed. The crash took the life of Hawaiian health official Loretta Fuddy, 65, the woman best known for publicly releasing President Obama‘s birth certificate. Fuddy made it into the water, but died shortly thereafter for yet unknown reasons.
Minutes after takeoff, the plane engines cut out, leaving the passengers in eerie silence as they watched the waters rushing up at them. Seconds after the crash, video shows water rushing into the plane’s fuselage.
“We heard a bang,” passenger Jacob Key told ABC News affiliate KITV-TV. “While the thing climbed up to make a turn. Then bang, that's it.”
Fellow passenger C. Phillip Hollstein said the dramatic incident was very organized.
“There wasn't panic or anything. It was very orderly. It wasn't like any of the movies or the TV shows,” Hollstein said.
The passengers grabbed onto floating debris and had to stay afloat in choppy waters for approximately two hours until they were rescued by the Coast Guard.
The 39-year old Puentes kept his camera rolling, crediting the plane’s pilot, Clyde Kawasaki, for successfully ditching the plane into water.
“The way how he handled the flight and everything, he kept his calm, it's just amazing how he did it,” Puentes said. “He is my hero.”
Meanwhile, Fuddy's death, which is being investigated, is fueling conspiracy theories because she was the public official who released President Obama's birth certificate in 2011 after repeated inquiries.