Agency issues report on fatal Molokai helicopter crash

WAILUKU, Maui — A new federal report has offered additional details of a deadly helicopter crash off the coast of Molokai.

The October 2017 crash killed 27-year-old Jeremy Dossetter and 25-year-old Oliver Kirsch, The Maui News reported Wednesday.

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The National Transportation Safety Board recently filed an accident factual report using information from the wreckage 2 miles off Molokai.

A remotely-operated vehicle found the severely fragmented fuselage of the Robinson Helicopter R44 embedded in the ocean floor in October 2018.

An analysis of the helicopter’s recovered engine did not indicate any evidence of internal mechanical damage or heat distress, the report said.

Kirsch was listed as a certified flight instructor and Dossetter was identified as a commercial pilot, the NTSB said.

Air traffic controllers tracking the flight reported the helicopter took a right turn and later a left turn, descended 300 feet in about 35 seconds and then climbed 200 feet.

The helicopter had descended to about 2,700 feet (823 meters) when radar contact was lost 6 miles northwest of Molokai Airport, the report said.

A U.S. Coast Guard air unit located debris and a red light floating in the ocean. The following day, a Maui Fire Department air unit located an uninflated life jacket.

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The weather conditions at the time of the crash could result in unexpected changes in wind direction and speed, the report said.

The helicopter was registered to Stasys Aviation Leasing LLC and operated by Hawaii Pacific Aviation doing business as Mauna Loa Helicopters.

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