All 7 Passengers Killed In Hawaii Tour Helicopter Crash
Based on what investigators said Hawaii tour helicopter crash last week caused killing all its seven passengers when the helicopter burst into flames after crashing a cliff at about 2,900 feet.
The helicopter crashed into a ridge on Thursday about 25 minutes after taking off from Lihue Airport, the agency said in a news release. It then fell about 100 feet and was engulfed in flames.
Local police handed over the investigation to the NTSB last week after suspending recovery efforts for the crash.
“A post-crash fire consumed much of the aircraft,” the NTSB told in an investigative update about Hawaii tour helicopter crash. “In the coming days, the wreckage will be moved to a secure location where investigators will conduct a more thorough examination of the recovered evidence. Details and timing are still being worked out.”
Destined of Hawaii Tour Helicopter
The helicopter’s commercial pilot and six passengers were passed away in Thursday’s crash. It was set to tour the Na Pali Coast, the picturesque and remote northern shoreline of Kauai that was featured in the film “Jurassic Park.”
Tuesday, Kauai Police approved they still hadn’t recovered the last set of remains from the wreckage but did publish the names of four previously unknown victims, a family from Switzerland that involved 50-year-old Sylvie Winteregg, 49-year-old Christophe Winteregg, 13-year-old Alice Winteregg, and 10-year-old Agathe Winteregg.
The helicopter was piloted by 69-year-old Wailua resident Paul Matero, who had been flying helicopters on Kauai for 12 years and for about 40 years. Besides aboard the aircraft and killed in the crash were Wisconsin visitors Amy Gannon, 47, and her girl Jocelyn, 13.
The multi-agency Kauai response team found six bodies from the wreckage on Dec 27 and, by the end of the day, declared no survivors of the crash. Tuesday, KPD confirmed that declaration stating, “Due to the nature of the crash and impact damage, Kauai police have confirmed that there are no survivors.”
Complicated search for the Helicopter
The helicopter company, recognized as Safari Helicopters, contacted the Coast Guard on Thursday evening after the tour did not return to the airport as scheduled. A search began but steep terrain, low visibility, choppy seas, and rain complicated the search.
Company representatives didn’t quickly return phone and email messages Tuesday. The pilot’s commercial pilot certificate would have had limitations on flying at night and more than 50 nautical miles. Sanger said those limitations wouldn’t have been issues in the crash. The flight departed Lihue Airport at 4:31 p.m. and hit at about 4:57 p.m.
That preliminary announcement likely won’t include findings of probable cause of the crash or safety recommendations; that information will be included in the final report published at the end of the research.
Kauai Police Chief Todd Raybuck commended the work of Kauai’s multi-agency team on Tuesday, highlighting the rough terrain all responders and researchers are continually trying to recover the wreckage.
“I cannot put into words just how remote and steep the terrain is where this tragic incident occurred but everyone has been working together nonstop, especially in hopes of attempting to provide some semblance of closure for the families,” Raybuck stated.