Hawaii tour helicopter crash: NTSB report reveals new details about moments before accident
A preliminary report into a Hawaii tour helicopter crash revealed the chopper experienced a "violent upset," before spinning uncontrollably downward and crashing into a remote lava field.
The June 8 crash near Kalea, Hawaii, on the island of Hawaii, happened during a federally regulated "on-demand air tour flight" and left the pilot and two passengers seriously injured, while three other passengers sustained minor injuries, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
HAWAII TOUR HELICOPTER CRASHES IN LAVA FIELD WITH 6 ONBOARDThe pilot reported that the first part of the flight was normal.
About 30 minutes into the flight, the helicopter "experienced a violent upset, followed by an uncontrolled spin (yaw) to the right," according to the NTSB.
After the impact, a passenger managed to make the emergency call to report the crash.
"An NTSB on site examination of the accident site revealed the tail boom came to rest about 762 ft northeast from the main wreckage, which consisted of the fuselage, engine, and main rotor system," the report says.
"The tail boom separated from the fuselage at the tail boom attach point."
"The upper left attachment fitting fastener was not present, and the lower left attachment fitting was fractured and displayed fatigue signatures," the report continues.
The helicopter’s maintenance records revealed that the most recent tail boom attachment fasteners torque check was completed on May 4, 2022, at a total airframe time of 22,891.4 flight hours.
The tail boom was installed on August 23, 2009, at a total airframe time of 5,780.0 hours and had not been removed prior to the accident, the NTSB says.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPPortions of the tail boom structure, aft fuselage structure, attachment fittings and fasteners were retained for further examination by the NTSB’s Materials Laboratory.
An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Alaska Regional Office, along with an NTSB airworthiness investigator, an NTSB survival factors investigator, and an NTSB maintenance investigator from Washington, D.C., responded to the island of Hawaii.