16-May-2016 Source: HeliHub.com
A lawsuit has been filed against tour operator Blue Hawaiian Helicopters following a hard landing on Kauai in January of this year. The preliminary NTSB report of the accident of Airbus EC130T2 N11VQ on 17th January stated
“On January 17, 2016, about 1430 Hawaii standard time, an Airbus EC130 T2, N11VQ, landed hard on a beach 2 miles west of Hanalei on the Hawaiian island of Kauai after a reported loss of engine power. The commercial pilot and 2 passengers sustained minor injuries, and 4 passengers were seriously injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom and airframe. The helicopter was registered to Nevada Helicopter Leasing LLC, operated by Blue Hawaiian Helicopters under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 135, and was conducting an air tour flight at the time of the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and a company visual flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated in Lihue at 1406.
The pilot reported that he was about 1/4 mile off shore northwest of Honopu Sea Arch at 1,300 feet mean sea level (msl) when he heard the low rotor rpm aural warning horn. He immediately entered an autorotation and turned towards the beach. He transmitted over the radio that he had an engine failure. As he approached the shoreline he made a right turn to the south and landed hard on the beach. He applied the rotor brake to slow the rotor, and at that time he noted that the engine was not running. The passengers began to exit and he pulled the engine fuel cutoff.”
The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of the Hicks family from Austin, Texas, claims that the incident occurred due to negligence on behalf of the company. Attorney Rick Fried from the Honolulu law firm Cronin Fried Sekiya Kekina & Fairbanks is quoted as saying “The most serious injury probably involved Dr. Lindsey Hicks, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist,” he said. “She ended up having to be airlifted from Hawaii to Craig (Hospital) in Denver where she remained until April. Unfortunately, she remains paraplegic.”. We found a profile of Dr Hicks on the Baylor Scott & White Health website here.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters spokesperson Christina Brodsly told HeliHub.com “While we won’t be able to add to your story at this time, as we cannot comment on ongoing litigation, Blue Hawaiian has an exceptional safety record. We’re one of the most experienced helicopter tour companies in America, flying more than 240,000 guests every year. We make passenger and crew safety our number one priority”
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com