Coast Guard responding to single engine airplane preparing to ditch off Maui

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard is responding to a distress call from a single engine aircraft running out of fuel approximately 975 miles north of the Big Island Sunday.

At 12:30 p.m. local time, the pilot contacted the Hawaii National Guard and reported his aircraft had approximately three hours of fuel remaining and he would be ditching 230 miles north east of Maui.

The Coast Guard has launched crews aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.

As of 2:35 p.m. the aircraft was 529 miles north east of the Big Island.

The Hercules is expected to rendezvous with the plane around 3:20 p.m.

The aircraft is reported as a single engine Cirrus SR-22 with one person aboard.

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