Preliminary Report: Sightseeing AS 350 has hydraulic problems
Eurocopter AS 350BA AStar, Princeville, Hawaii, March 8, 2007–Four people were killed and the Heli-USA Airways AStar was substantially damaged following loss of control while it was landing at Princeville Airport. VMC had prevailed for the 45-minute air-tour flight. On returning, the pilot announced to the dispatcher, “I’m having hydraulic problems, and I’m probably going to have to do a run-on landing.” As the dispatcher was alerting emergency personnel, the pilot said he had a hydraulic failure. As the helicopter approached the ground, the pilot said, “OK, we’re done,” as the sound of the rotor changed pitch and the helicopter hit the ground.
The ATP-rated pilot and three passengers were killed and three passengers were seriously injured. The hydraulic system was sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington for examination.