Imagine passersby’s surprise when, on an otherwise ordinary day in downtown Honolulu, a commercial helicopter came suddenly tumbling to the ground. This was just the scene in May 2013 after a Robinson R22 Beta helicopter lost power, forcing Mauna Loa Helicopters’ pilot Julia Link to make an emergency crash landing, which resulted in minor injuries for Link and her passenger. In the days following the crash, the owner of Hawaiian Air Power Labs, Inc., a mechanical inspection company which was responsible for the pre-flight inspection of the helicopter, came forward, admitting that it was mechanical error and a negligent inspection that directly lead to the crash. Although this crash thankfully resulted in only minor injuries, it serves as an important reminder of the hazards posed by helicopter travel in Hawaii.
Danger posed by other aircraft types
Notably, helicopters are just one of several aircraft types involved in sightseeing accidents in Hawaii and across the U.S. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, between 2001 and 2010, of the 128 sightseeing aircraft accidents they documented over 20 per cent involved helicopters. Balloon, fixed-wing airplane, and glider accidents accounted for the balance of the national tally in the past decade.
Proving your personal injury claim
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an aviation accident of any type, you will need to prove that another’s negligence caused your injuries. To do this, you will have to prove that:
The law required the responsible party to exercise a certain duty of reasonable care
The responsible party failed to fulfill this duty by acting in an unreasonable manner under the circumstances
The responsible party’s actions, or failure to act, caused the victim’s injuries
The victim suffered losses and/or injuries