NTSB release preliminary report on Kauai helicopter crash

National / World

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report on last month’s Kauai helicopter crash.

The helicopter was reported as being overdue on Dec. 26. A multi-agency search ensued and the crash site was located the following day, Dec. 27 within Koke’e State Park.

WASHINGTON (Jan. 15, 2020) — The typical tour route to Upper Mic followed by Safari Helicopters pilots conducting tours of the island of Kuai, Hawaii, is depicted along with the approximate accident site and witness locations using a graphic overlay on a Google earth image. The graphic is part of the NTSB’s preliminary report for the crash of a Safari Helicopter, Dec. 26, 2019, near Lihue, Hawaii, in which the pilot and six passengers aboard the helicopter died. The preliminary report was released Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (NTSB graphic by Brice Banning.)

Officials, said the helicopter impacted mountainous terrain at an elevation of 3,000 feet and rolled down the mountain, coming to rest at an elevation of 2,900 feet. The wreckage was largely consumed by a post-crash fire.

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All aboard the helicopter died, including the pilot and six passengers. Kauai police positively identified all seven victims using a new, advanced form of DNA technology.

The pilot was positively identified as 69-year-old Paul Matero of Wailua. Four of the six passengers were confirmed to be a family from Switzerland: 50-year-old Sylvie Winteregg, 49-year-old Christophe Winteregg, 13-year-old Alice Winteregg and 10-year-old Agathe Winteregg. Two other passengers were confirmed to be 47-year-old Amy Gannon and 13-year-old Jocelyn Gannon of Madison, Wiscnosin.

Kauai Police Chief Todd G. Raybuck said, “I really want to thank everyone at KPD, and all of our partner agencies, for their hard work throughout this entire investigation. I also want to express my deepest condolences again to those who lost their loved ones in this terrible tragedy.”

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