Honolulu Helicopter Crash (Photo : Honolulu Police Department)
A small helicopter in Hawaii lost power mid-flight and crashed down onto a crowded street in Honolulu on Wednesday, though miraculously nobody was hurt in the accident.
The helicopter, a Robinson R22 Beta, was piloted by 30-year-old Julia Link and had one passenger aboard. Link and 71-year-old Karl Hedberg were on a photography flight when the aircraft reportedly lost power at an elevation of about 3,000 feet. Link was able to navigate the helicopter down safely, landing atop a parked car on Fort Street near Hawaii Pacific University's Downtown Honolulu Campus, according to reports.
"It's a miraculous situation that no one was badly hurt by this," Capt. Terry Seeling, a spokesperson for the Honolulu Fire Department told the media. "This is a pretty busy area."
The AP reports that Link, an experienced pilot, said that as she flew over the busy Honolulu downtown area that everything was normal when the engine apparently failed without warning. Though she has received extensive training for responding to a crash landing scenario, Link said she experienced disbelief as the incident actually took place.
"First I thought it was a joke," Link said. "Then I was like 'oh my God, this is for real'."
The plane's sole passenger, Hedberg, who was treated at the scene for minor head injuries, had a different reaction as the helicopter began its rapid descent, though he also showed a measure of disbelief.
"I prayed before we went up and I figured, the Lord will take us down," Hedberg said. "We came in, we were skidding. I felt like we were at an amusement park."
The helicopter was operated by Mauna Loa Helicopters and was hired by Aerial Photography Hawaii to shoot a video. Representatives for Mauna Loa could not be reached for comment.
Allen Kenitzer, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said that preliminary information indicates that the aircraft went down due to engine failure.