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Wed, May 15, 2019

NTSB Releases Preliminary Information From Hawaii Helo Accident

Witnesses Reported Seeing Parts Falling From The Aircraft

The NTSB has released its preliminary report form an April 29 accident in Hawaii involving a Robinson R-44 helicopter which fatally injured three people.

According to the report, on April 29, 2019, about 0910 Hawaii-Aleutian standard time (HST), the Robinson R-44 Helicopter, N808NV, impacted terrain in a residential neighborhood while maneuvering near Kailua, Hawaii. The commercial pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and the helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to United Helicopter Leasing, LLC, and operated by Novictor Aviation, LLC, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 air tour flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company VFR flight plan was opened. The flight originated from the Daniel K Inouye International Airport (HNL), Honolulu, Hawaii about 0854.

Witnesses reported that they heard the helicopter overhead but didn't look until they heard an odd noise followed by a loud metallic bang. They subsequently observed the helicopter in a nose low attitude descending rapidly; none of the rotor blades were moving and the helicopter appeared to be descending vertically with little forward motion. Witnesses reported observing pieces falling from the helicopter which included: a piece of the main rotor blade, plexiglass, pieces of airframe, and a fuel tank. The helicopter impacted the street and a post-crash fire ensued.

The 0857 automated weather observation at the Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Air Station (PHNG), located about 3 miles north of the accident site, included wind from 300 at 8 knots, visibility 4 statute miles, broken clouds at 1,800 and 2,800 ft agl, overcast clouds at 3,900 ft agl, light rain, temperature 24oC, dewpoint 20oC, and an altimeter setting of 29.99 inches of mercury.

The helicopter has been recovered to a secure location for further examination.

(Image from file. Not accident aircraft)

FMI: NTSB report

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