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HELICOPTER CRASHES DOWNTOWN; NO SERIOUS INJURIES

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 08:07 p.m. HST, May 08, 2013


Photo Gallery: Helicopter crash in downtown Honolulu

A  helicopter crash-landed in downtown Honolulu this afternoon, but the pilot and passenger walked away with no serious injuries.

A 30-year-old woman pilot and 72-year-old male passenger refused treatment at the scene after the helicopter made an emergency landing, according to the city Emergency Medical Services Division. The male passenger had a cut on his head, and the pilot had no injuries, an EMS spokeswoman

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Robinson R22 Beta helicopter had engine failure and landed on Fort Street, striking a car.

Police closed Beretania, Kukui and Fort streets because of what they called a "non-fatal helicopter crash" at about 3:20 p.m. Beretania Street was re-opened about 5 p.m., but Fort Street remained closed. 

According to the FAA registry, the helicopter with tail number “N5ZK” is owned by HLM Aviation Services Inc., whose agent is Benjamin Fouts. The helicopter was determined to be air worthy or safe to fly on June 10, 1992, according to the registry.

Fouts is listed as the president of Mauna Loa Helicopters, a business that has a training school in Kailua-Kona and Honolulu. Fouts and Mauna Loa Helicopters officials were unavailable for comment.

The pilot was able to land on Fort Street but a rotor hit a parked Mazda sedan severly damaging the car, between the Kukui Plaza building and the fire station on Beretania Street.

Patti Hookano said she was driving on Fort Street when the helicopter flew low over her vehicle.
“It looked like it was driving down the street,” she said.

Hookano pulled into a parking stall and saw the helicopter had crashed and hit the hood of a black Mazda.

"I came from my exam from school and I can't believe I see my car in an accident from a helicopter," said Matthew Lau, the owner of the Mazda. "I'm shocked."

Hookano said she saw a woman helping an older man exit the helicopter.

The helicopter was on a photo shoot above Punchbowl when the it had mechanical problems, said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig.  “Very minor injuries, it’s amazing,” he said.

Seelig said firefighters from the nearby fire station heard the crash and helped the pilot and passenger.

Seelig said the pilot did “an incredible job” landing the helicopter. “From where it started contacting the road, it must have been about a couple hundred feet from where it ended up, where it struck this one car,” he said.”And that’s the only damage, besides the helicopter, was this one car – and a parking meter.”

____

Star-Advertiser reporters Leila Fujimori, Gordon Y.K. Pang, Gary T. Kubota, Andy Yamaguchi and Craig Gima contributed to this story.






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