Ernest L. Smith upon arrival at Wheeler field after crashing on Molokai.
Ernest L. Smith, pilot, and Emory B. Bronte, navigator, were the first civilians to fly from California to Hawaii. Running out of fuel, Smith crashed the plane into kiawe trees at Kiawenui, near Kamalo, Molokai on July 15, 1927. Their Travelair monoplane, "City of Oakland," was a total wreck, but neither flier was injured. The flight took 25 hours and 2 minutes.