The Latest: Hawaii lawmaker seeks helicopter restrictions

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a helicopter crash in Hawaii that killed three people (all times local):

1 p.m.

The state representative for the Hawaii suburb where a tour helicopter crashed and killed three people says she wants federal authorities to prohibit tour flights over the state's residential areas and national parks.

Rep. Cynthia Thielen said Monday she wants Hawaii's congressional delegation to ask the Federal Aviation Administration to implement such restrictions.

The Republican lawmaker is also calling for tour helicopter flights to be grounded until an investigation into the crash is completed.

The helicopter that crashed in Kailua on Monday was a four-seat Robinson R44. FAA records show it's registered to United Helicopter Leasing, which is managed by Nicole Vandelaar. She is a pilot and the founder and CEO of the Novictor Helicopters tour company.


12:35 p.m.

Federal Aviation Administration records show the helicopter that crashed in a Honolulu suburb, killing three people, was built in 2000 and registered to United Helicopter Leasing LLC of Honolulu.

State business records show Nicole Vandelaar as the manager.

A woman who answered the phone at the business and identified herself as Nicole declined to immediately comment, saying she was too busy to talk at this time.

A website for the Honolulu tour helicopter company Novictor Helicopters identifies Nicole Vandelaar as founder and CEO. The website says she is an expert pilot commercially licensed to fly helicopters and airplanes.

A Novictor helicopter crashed on a sandbar in Kaneohe in October after the pilot lost consciousness twice. The crash resulted in injuries to the pilot and two passengers.


11 a.m.

A woman who was driving on a street where a helicopter crashed in a Honolulu suburb says she looked up to see fire as the aircraft plummeted to the ground in front of her.

Melissa Solomon said Monday she thought the area was being bombed or an airplane had fallen.

She said she had turned onto another street because she was afraid pieces would fall on her car. She pulled over and called 911 but couldn't get through.

She then drove back and could see it was a helicopter with people at the scene who appeared to be helping.

The Honolulu Fire Department says three people died in the crash Monday in the town of Kailua.


10:25 a.m.

A resident says he heard the fatal crash of a helicopter then saw a ball of fire in a road when he ran from his house in suburban Honolulu.

Leleo Knappenberger told Hawaii News Now that his mother heard the helicopter flying over the house, making a strange noise.

He said the aircraft was "all smashed to pieces."

The Honolulu Fire Department says three people died in the crash Monday in the town of Kailua.


10 a.m.

A federal agency says a helicopter that crashed in a Honolulu suburb was a four-seat Robinson R44.

The Honolulu Fire Department says three people died in the crash Monday in the town of Kailua.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the agency believes three people were on board the aircraft. He says the circumstances of the morning crash remained unknown.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.


9:40 a.m.

The Honolulu Fire Department says three people have died in a helicopter crash in the suburban town of Kailua.

Fire Captain Scot Seguirant said Monday he didn't immediately know how many people were on board the helicopter or whether any houses or cars were involved in the crash.

He says he doesn't know the ages and genders of those killed.


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