HONOLULU (KHON2) — Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said a helicopter crash on the Big Island in June has led to calls for immediate inspections of Bell 407 helicopters.
The Paradise Helicopters aircraft went down on Wednesday, June 8 in Kalea.
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A preliminary investigation revealed the tail boom separated from the fuselage; the pilot and two passengers were seriously injured in the crash.
It is still unknown why the tail boom separated, but the CEO of Paradise Helicopters said the directive is a win for aviation safety.
“Since the June 8th accident, we did replace all of our bolts; and then in addition to that, we do daily checks of the bolts. But, we also do non-destructive testing, which actually looks beyond what the naked eye can see. And, we can dig into the metal to the actual structural integrity of the helicopters.”Keri Wright, Paradise Helicopters CEO
“This is a major win of just notifying all other operators that they need to inspect and be cognizant so that we can prevent any potential damage or loss of life in the future,” Wright said.
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Bell — the manufacturer of the aircraft that crashed — requires torque inspections every 300 flight hours, but the NTSB is calling on all operators to conduct inspections as soon as possible.