22 Apr 2017
- Emmanuel T. Erediano
A STAR Marianas Piper Cherokee crash landed at Laolao Bay Golf & Resort in Kagman on Saturday at around 1 p.m. The pilot and two female Chinese tourists were unhurt.
The incident occured just after the conclusion of the Hyatt Regency Saipan 21st Annual Charity Golf Classic which was held at the golf resort. The four-passenger plane landed on the fairway of Hole No. 5. and stopped near the bushes next to the blue tee box, a spot for professional golfers.
Dong Young “Edward” Lee, one of the tournament participants, said he had just finished his game when the incident happened. “That was my last hole,” he added. “I was eating [lunch] already when I heard there was a plane that crashed there,” he said in an interview.
The 25-year-old pilot, Josh Emmanuel Dominise, remained at the crash scene to talk to first responders while his two passengers were transported to the Commonwealth Health Center even though they were not injured, Variety learned.
Dominise told the first responders that he took off from the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport at 1:06 p.m., but six minutes into the flight, he heard an explosion in the engine so he cut off the plane’s electricity and reported it to the control tower which advised him to return to the airport right away. He said he didn’t think he could make it to the airport so decided to land in Kagman, adding that he believed that the golf course was the safest spot for a landing.
Variety was told that Star Marianas flight was part of an “Island Discover Tour,” a 22-minute sight-seeing flight on Saipan.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/94680-star-marianas-aircraft-crash-lands-at-laolao-golf-course