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Lost one in Kauai....

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Man alot of accidents seem to be happening lately. Very unnerving for me especially since I'm starting training next week. Sorry to hear about this. My condolences.

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Its not that there are a lot of accidents, its that we hear about them almost as soon as they happen. The Internet is like that. Because accidents are a rare thing in aviation, it makes news, and even more news when its a fatal one. Nobody ever talks about auto accidents unless its a multi car pile up or some celeb wrecks a car. As long as people are people, unpleasant things will happen. As for this one, well these things happen, what happened I don't know, I was not there and I will not second guess the pilot who was. May he find his place on heaven's streets.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Fatal helicopter crash pilot reported power loss





March 23, 2007, 8:25 PM EDT


In the minutes before a tour helicopter crashed earlier this month in Hawaii, killing an East Rockaway man and three others, the pilot radioed he was having "hydraulic problems" and then "hydraulic failure," a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board found.


As the helicopter approached Princeville Airport in Kauai for an emergency run-on landing, the radio dispatcher heard pilot Joseph Sulak say, "OK, we're done." The rotor sound changed pitch just before the crash, the report says.


The details were part of an NTSB report released Thursday that is the most complete account yet of the March 8 crash of the A-Star 350BA, a Heli USA helicopter returning from a 45-minute tour of Kauai.


Sulak was killed, as was one member of each of the three married couples on board: John O'Donnell, 45, of East Rockaway, Teri McCarty of Cabot, Ark., and Margriet Scholtz of Santa Maria, Calif. Their spouses were seriously injured.


O'Donnell and his wife Veronica, also 45, had been celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in Hawaii. The trip was a gift from their children, who remain by Veronica's side in a Hawaii hospital, where she recently underwent surgery.


The report issued no official cause but found problems in the hydraulics system. Part of the system was sent to Washington, D.C., for examination.


A friend of O'Donnell said Friday the report -- a final version of which might not be issued for years -- left her with unanswered questions.


"How were they about maintenance" of the helicopter, asked Eileen Timlin-McCormack, of Freeport, referring to Heli USA. The company had another helicopter crash in 2002 due in part, the NTSB found, to a failed hydraulic system.


The agency called the company's maintenance of that helicopter "inadequate."


"These are money-making deals and I would be concerned about how exacting they are about the maintenance of the equipment," she said.


Investigators didn't describe Heli USA's maintenance of the A-Star helicopter that crashed, but the report noted it had a 100-hour inspection on Feb. 22 and an engine change Feb. 28.


O'Donnell's family declined to comment Friday. Heli USA did not return repeated calls.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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The preliminary NTSB report says that there was no defect with the hydraulic system, but says that the lower attachment of the LH M/R servo was detached from its mount.


The lower attachment of the servo is a clevis/rod-end that is screwed into the lower end of the piston rod and it is then attached to lugs on the mast housing. The rod-end is saftied with a four-key washer and a jam-nut. The jam-nut is wire-locked to the four-key washer. The washer is keyed in four places and fits into four slots in the bottom of the piston rod to prevent it, the jam-nut and the piston rod from turning. If this attachment is properly assembled and secured it is fool-proof.


In the Kauai wreck the NTSB stated that the jam-nut was still on the detached clevis/rod-end and was still wire-locked to the washer, and none of the threads appeared damaged. Without proper locking, rotation of the piston rod has occurred resulting in the clevis/rod-end being un-screwed from the bottom of the rod.


Having been deprived of a significant part of his control system, it speaks volumes for Joe that he even got the helo back to the pad.



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