Earlier this year, The Garden Island reported that Kauai has had more helicopter accident fatalities in the past two decades than any other location in Hawaii. As recently as 2019, 10 individuals lost their lives in two separate crashes in Kauai and Honolulu, resulting in the state’s highest death rate from these types of accidents in 20 years.
Review the factors that contribute to helicopter crashes to understand safety red flags when choosing a tour provider.
Factors in helicopter crashes
The number of tour flights has increased by more than two-thirds over the past decade according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation. In the same time period, the number of tour operating companies has increased by more than 200%. The majority of fatal crashes result from maintenance issues, mechanical failure, bad weather or a combination of those factors. According to Representative Ed Case, the Federal Aviation Administration does not have to adhere to safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board. The legislator advocates for more direct federal oversight.
Smart safety steps
Check the reputation of a tour company online before giving them a deposit. Look at the helicopters to make sure they appear in good condition. Look for a pilot that advertises status as an FAA Part 135 Air Carrier. The FAA holds these individuals to higher standards than general pilot requirements. You can also review the tour company’s history of incidents with the NTSB.
When someone experiences a catastrophic injury in an aviation accident, they may have a claim for legal compensation if third-party negligence contributed to the crash.