Maui News

NTSB REPORT: Alarm Sounded Prior to Hard Landing in Waiheʻe

July 16, 2014, 10:20 AM HST
* Updated July 16, 10:22 AM
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Helicopter hard landing in Waiheʻe. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Helicopter hard landing in Waiheʻe. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

A preliminary report indicates that an alarm sounded prior to the hard landing of a tour helicopter in a Waiheʻe pasture last month. 

According to the preliminary report filed by the National Transportation Safety Board, the pilot of the Sunshine Helicopters craft reported that he was 10 minutes into the flight when the main rotor speed started to decrease, and the low rotor warning alarm sounded.

The pilot entered an autorotation after attempts to control the main rotor speed were unsuccessful, the report stated.

According to the NTSB, the helicopter made a hard landing in tall grass, resulting in structural damage to the fuselage and tail boom of the craft.

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While the damage to the helicopter was described as “substantial,” the pilot and all five passengers aboard were not injured in the incident.

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The NTSB reports that the flight aboard the Airbus AS 350 BA helicopter departed from Kahului Airport on June 17, 2014, for a scenic tour, and made the hard landing about a half hour later.

After recovery, the helicopter’s engine was removed, and has since been shipped to the engine manufacturer’s facility for further examination under the supervision of the NTSB, the report stated.

Helicopter hard landing in Waiheʻe. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Helicopter hard landing in Waiheʻe. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Helicopter hard landing in Waiheʻe. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Helicopter hard landing in Waiheʻe. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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