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According to eyewitness reports from people on commercial boat tours in Kealakekua Bay, the micro-light was banking left when a loud and sudden popping sound emerged from the aircraft. Almost immediately one of the wings folded up and fell into the ocean.
Crew from the Kona zodiac operator Captain Zodiac pulled both Moran and Hecklin from the micro-light wreckage and into an inflatable boat. Others on the scene performed CPR on Hecklin and Moran as the boat headed back to shore in Kealakekua bay, but were unable to revive them.
Hecklin was 38 years old and had been flying since he was 13. His company reportedly had a 100 percent safety record.