Island tour

Big Island tour helicopter suffered ‘abuse’ before crashing

A Bell 407 helicopter on a sightseeing tour around the island of Hawaii suffered a “violent upheaval” before spinning out of control and crashing into a remote lava field on June 8, injuring the pilot and five passengers, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary. report.

The independent federal agency released the report today which reveals details of what happened moments before the crash.

The tour helicopter operated by K&S Helicopters, doing business as Paradise Helicopters, crashed into a lava field between the Ranchos Subdivision and South Point Road around 5:25 p.m. on June 8.

According to the report, the flight took off from Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at 5:01 p.m. for a sightseeing tour around the island. Approximately 30 minutes later, the helicopter “suffered a violent rollover”, followed by an uncontrolled spin.

As the helicopter continued to circle, one of the passengers saw something fall from the helicopter. Report investigators said she was unable to identify a specific party.

The helicopter crashed in the lava field where the pilot and two passengers were seriously injured and three passengers received minor injuries. One of the passengers called 911 to report the accident.

NTSB investigators had visited the crash site where they observed the tail boom more than 750 feet from the main wreckage consisting of the fuselage, engine, and main rotor system. The agency noted that the tail boom had separated from the fuselage at the tail boom attachment point.

The wreckage has since been moved to a hangar on the island of Hawaii.

Clint Johnson, head of the NTSB’s Alaska regional office, said investigators recovered key components from the wreckage, including attachment fittings that are currently being examined at a Washington DC lab as part of the investigation.

In a statement today, Paradise Helicopters President Calvin Dorn said, “K&S Helicopters is working closely with the pilot, the NTSB, the FAA and Bell, to support a thorough investigation into the June 8 crash on the island of Hawaii. All Bell 407 aircraft operated by K&S Helicopters have been voluntarily grounded as a precaution until further safety decisions can be made. The company is reviewing the NTSB’s preliminary findings, and we will continue to work with investigators as they complete a final report.

A final report on the probable cause of the accident is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months.

NTSB Preliminary Report of June 8 Tour Helicopter Crash by Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Scribd