3.12.2007

Helicopter Tours Not Recommended

It's a fact that almost every year a helicopter tour company in Hawaii has a crash ending in a fatality. Statistically though, that may be a small number when you realize that there are 1000's of helicopter tours in Hawaii every year. Flying in a helicopter can be a breathtaking experience, but if that experience is life taking also, it's not worth it. We do not suggest that you plan helicopter tours while on your honeymoon here in Hawaii. We also do not arrange helicopter weddings for the same reason, "It's just too important that you make it home alive", said Tim Clark of Hawaiian Island Weddings, Inc., "The devastation that a fatal crash can cause to friends & family is not worth the risk, take a nice snorkel trip instead."

* Recent fatal air-tour crashes in Hawai'i

• March 12, 2007: Heli USA Airways helicopter crashes in Kauai killing one of its four passengers and leaving three people in critical condition.

• March 8, 2007: Crash of a Heli USA Airways Kaua'i tour helicopter, killed the pilot and three of his passengers. The pilot was experiencing hydraulic problems and lost control.

• December 25, 2005: Jonathan D'Attilio — the son of Inter-Island's owner, Ken D'Attilio — crashed into the De Mello Reservoir while helping the Kaua'i Fire Department put out a brush fire. Jonathan D'Attilio later died of his injuries.

• September 23, 2005: Three Heli USA passengers died when an A-Star helicopter without floats crashed into the water and quickly sank.

• July 15, 2004: An Inter-Island pilot helping fight a fire had to perform an emergency landing at Lihu'e Airport after the main rotor blades came in contact with a tree. The helicopter rolled onto its side, but the pilot walked away.

• July 23, 2003: A Jack Harter Helicopters Bell 206B crashes at Mount Wai'ale'ale, Kaua'i, killing five.

• June 15, 2003: Three tourists and a pilot are killed when a Tropical Helicopters Hughes 500 crashes in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. The cause remains under investigation.

• Aug. 25, 2000: A Big Island Air Piper Chieftain plane ditches in the ocean off Hilo. The pilot and seven passengers survive, one passenger dies. The NTSB cites loss of engine power and an engine fire.

• July 21, 2000: A Blue Hawaiian Tours helicopter crashes in 'Iao Valley on Maui, killing seven. The NTSB cites pilot error for flying into cloudy weather.

• Sept. 25, 1999: A Big Island Air Piper Chieftain plane crashes on the slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island, killing all 10 aboard. The NTSB cites pilot error for flying into bad weather, improper navigation and disregard for standard operating procedures.

• June 25, 1998: A Eurocopter aircraft operated by 'Ohana Helicopters smashes into a mountainside at Mount Wai'ale'ale, Kaua'i, killing six. The NTSB cites pilot error for flying into bad weather.

• July 14, 1994: A Papillon Helicopters Aerospatiale Astar crashes into the ocean off Kaua'i's Na Pali Coast, killing three of seven people aboard. The NTSB cites engine failure.

• April 18, 1994: An Interisland Helicopters craft crashes near Hanapepe Valley on Kaua'i, killing one and injuring four. The NTSB cites engine failure.

• Jan. 25, 1993: A Kainoa Aviation Hilleer 1100 helicopter plunges into the ocean off Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. The pilot survives but four passengers are killed. The NTSB cites loss of tail rotor control.

• Sept. 16, 1992: A Hawai'i Helicopters Aerospatiale Astar slams into the southern slope of Haleakala on Maui, killing seven. The NTSB cites pilot error for flying into bad weather.

• April 22, 1992: All nine aboard a Scenic Air Tours Beech E18S plane die in a crash near Haleakala Crater. The NTSB cites pilot error for flying into bad weather.

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