Helicopter company: Pilot suffered medical condition prior to crash

News

Emergency personnel rushed to Windward Oahu Monday afternoon after a helicopter went down near the Kaneohe sandbar.

It happened at around 5:15 p.m.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Robinson R44 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances.

Emergency Medical Services treated three patients, two men and a woman.

A 57-year-old man, reportedly the pilot, suffered apparent injuries to his back, head and chest; a 31-year-old male suffered apparent injuries to his head, chest, back and right arm; and a 35-year-old female suffered apparent injuries to her chest, back and left leg.

All patients also appeared to have suffered multiple lacerations to their bodies, according to EMS. They were all taken to a trauma center in serious condition.

The helicopter is part of Novictor Oahu Helicopter Tours.

A representative with the company said the pilot suffered an apparent medical condition during the flight, and added the pilot and two passengers suffered no life-threatening injuries.

Fire officials say Good Samaritans were able to assist them shortly after the crash.

“While en route, we were informed that there were three occupants. All were conscious and alert. As we got closer, more information came in telling us there was a Good Samaritan out there that had the three occupants on board so we just deployed our assets out there to assess, stabilize, and transport the three occupants,” said Battalion Chief Mark Nakagawa, Honolulu Fire Department. “I’m not sure if they self-extricated or guys from the boat got off to assist them, but by the time we got out there, they were already on the boat. There were also two kayakers out there assisting.

“Nothing is ever straightforward but it was fortunate for us that the Good Samaritans were out there that quick, and were able to secure the three occupants, and then pass on information to our fire dispatch on their condition,” Nakagawa added.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

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