A copter crash in Honolulu on Wednesday is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. The small helicopter crash-landed on a street in the downtown area.
The president of the copter company praised the pilot, successfully landed the helicopter, which lost power, with minimal injuries. The NTSB is not sending anyone to the crash site of the two-seater craft. However, they will investigate the incident remotely with the help of local authorities.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will also assist. Two FAA inspectors were at the scene on Wednesday afternoon. They interviewed the copter pilot, Julia Link, 30, according to agency spokesman Ian Gregor. Gregor added, “We’re still looking into the incident and don’t have any preliminary findings to report.”
Link is a flight instructor for Mauna Loa Helicopters, where she has worked for about a year. Previously,she graduated from the company’s flight school, according to president Benjamin Fouts. The company is not planning to close or do anything different during the investigation.
Flouts explained, “Nothing’s really changed here. In aviation, unfortunately, accidents do happen.” He added, “My hat goes off to Julia. She performed so well under pressure. You couldn’t be more proud.”
The company’s president added that he has yet to speak with Julia Flouts about the copter crash, because he is on the mainland for a business trip. However, when he gets back, he stated that “first thing I’ll do is go buy her a cold beer.”
Along with Link, photographer Karl Hedberg was also aboard the copter when it crashed Wednesday afternoon. Hedberg suffered a small cut on his head that required a bandage.
The company primarily used the Robinson R22 Beta helicopter for flight instruction and occasionally for photographers who want to take aerial shots of the region. The FAA registry shows that the copter was owned by HLM Aviation Services, Inc. and leased to Mauna Loa Helicopters. Flouts is part owner in HLM.
[Image via Radim Holiš]