Settlement reached in lawsuit over 2000 plane crash on Moloka'i

May 11, 2004

By David Waite, ADVERTISER COURTS WRITER

Family members of a father and son who were killed four years ago when their private jet crashed while trying to land on Moloka`i have reached a $3.5 million out-of-court settlement. The settlement is with the company that furnished the pilots who were flying the plane and the estates of the two pilots who were also killed in the crash.

Honolulu attorneys Rich-ard Fried and Patrick McTernan represented the family members of Macy Price Sr. and Macy Price Jr., who were killed in the May 10, 2000, crash, which also claimed the lives of pilot William Marr, co-pilot Jason Miller and a Price family friend who was aboard the corporate jet.

A wrongful-death lawsuit claimed negligence on the part of the pilot and co-pilot as well as the Executive Aircraft Corp. of Wichita, Kan., which furnished the pilots. Honolulu attorneys Calvin Young and Burnham Greeley, who represented Executive Aircraft and the pilots, could not be reached for comment on the cash settlement.

Price, 70, and his son, 38, were planning to spend several weeks at their Moloka`i home when their Sabreliner jet clipped the top of the hill while approaching the Kaunakakai Airport at Moloka`i. They were flying from a ranch in Argentina with stops in Tahiti and Maui.

Fried said that about a year earlier, the Prices had sold their family business in Colorado so that they did not need to work. At some point in the latter part of the 1990s it was believed that Macy Price Jr. had more patents in his name than anybody then living, Fried said. Neither Macy Price Sr. nor Macy Price Jr. were married. The Prices were Colorado residents but spent quite a bit of time in Moloka`i and working on their 39,000-acre ranch in Argentina, Fried said.

Macy Price Sr. was survived by his other two children, James Price and Britt Sutter, while Macy Price Jr. was survived by his mother, Marjorie Price, as well as his brother and sister. A National Transportation Safety Board report cited pilot error, possibly because of fatigue, as the cause of the crash.

The report said the flight crew made several mistakes during its approach to Moloka`i, including selecting the wrong frequency for activating pilot-controlled runway lighting, concluding that the airport was obscured by clouds despite weather information to the contrary, misstating instrument approach headings and descent altitudes and descending below appropriate altitudes.