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Worn metal likely cause of crash

Metal fatigue probably caused a left rear landing skid strut to collapse on a helicopter operated by K&S Helicopters Inc. at the Turtle Bay Resort Heliport in 2009, according to a National Transportation Safety Board investigation.

None of the four passengers nor the pilot was injured in the accident on Nov. 20, 2009, but the McDonnell Douglas 369E helicopter sustained substantial damage to its tail skid and stabilizer when the strut broke as the helicopter prepared for ascent, tilting the helicopter to its left rear.

The NTSB said the struts had been checked 13 days before the accident as part of a 100-hour inspection.

During the investigation, the board found the left strut fractured at the bolt hole where it was attached to a fuselage drag brace.

The bolt holes on the broken strut and right strut were larger than the maximum allowed in the maintenance manual, the NTSB said in a report Thursday.

The NTSB said the manufacturer’s manual required removal of any strut that was loose.

Lawyer disbarred, told to pay clients

The Hawaii Supreme Court has disbarred Vickery Russell from the practice of law and ordered her to pay $14,000 in restitution.

The high court’s order, issued Monday, said it appears that Russell violated professional rules governing lawyers in her representation of three clients.

She was ordered to pay each of three people sums ranging from $2,000 to $4,500.

The court said it also appears that Russell no longer maintains a practice in Hawaii and cannot be found in the state.

Russell, 53, had a law office on Maui.

New agency to improve tech quality

The state Legislature has appropriated $1.2 million to pay for creation of a state information technology office to improve public online services, make government more efficient and save money.

The bill sought by Gov. Neil Abercrombie funds a chief information officer and an information technology office.

Combined, they will form a new Office of Information Management and Technology to upgrade the state government’s aging computer and technology systems.

Abercrombie has said he plans to hire a chief information officer by July, evaluate the state’s technology needs over the next two years and implement the plan in 2013.

The measure passed the Legislature before this year’s session ended earlier this month.

Abercrombie hasn’t yet signed it into law.

Duckworth to speak

Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth and Coast Guard Rear Adm. Charles Ray will be the guest speakers at the annual Vietnam veterans candlelight ceremony Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The ceremony will include a helicopter flyover and the lighting of 1,000 candles.

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