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2 females, 1 male died in Kailua helicopter crash, police say

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The wreckage of a four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter sat in Oneawa Street in Kailua this morning, a day after it crashed, killing all three people aboard.

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According to the FAA registry, the crashed helicopter was owned by Novictor Helicopters, the same operator of a Robinson R44 helicopter that crashed onto the Kaneohe Bay sandbar on Oct. 22.

The investigation continues this morning on Monday’s deadly helicopter crash that killed a pilot and two passengers in Kailua.

Police said two females and one male died in the crash. Positive identification is pending.

According to Jessica Lani Rich, president of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, one passenger was from Australia and the other passenger was from Chicago.

The pilot was a Hawaii resident.

Rich said the passengers’ family members are en route to Hawaii. “They’re currently in flight right now. I am going to be meeting with them later this afternoon.”

A section of Oneawa Street at the intersection of Kalolina Street remains closed.

Police responded to a report of a helicopter crash at about 9:12 a.m. Monday.

The aircraft described as a four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter operated by Novictor Helicopters plummeted in front of 745 Oneawa St. near Nowela Place.

Nicole Vandelaar, owner and chief pilot of Novictor, said, “This accident is heartbreaking for everyone, especially the families and friends of the passengers and pilot, who was part of our Novictor family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.”

“The safety and welfare of our personnel and passengers are our top priority. We are actively cooperating with the authorities to determine the cause of this accident, including working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in their investigation,” she said in an e-mailed statement.

Vandelaar founded Novictor Helicopters in 2011.

Once the NTSB completes their onsite investigation, the wreckage will be moved to a secure location where they will continue their investigation, according to NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss.

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