Investigators plan to move Hawaii helicopter crash wreckage

HONOLULU — U.S. investigators said Thursday they were waiting for weather to clear so they may send a recovery team to retrieve the wreckage of a tour helicopter that crashed last week into a remote mountain ridge on the Hawaii island of Kauai and killed seven people.

The wreckage will be removed by helicopter, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss said.

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Typically investigators go to wreckage sites and take photos and detailed measurements to help determine the cause of crashes. But Weiss said the agency believes it would be safer to remove the wreckage for the investigation instead of sending investigators there given the difficulty of reaching the crash site.

The wreckage will be moved to an undisclosed, secure location, he said.

The other options would have been to send investigators on a 4-to-8 hour hike through dense forest to get to the crash site, or to tether investigators to a helicopter and fly them there.

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“We felt it was a safer option to move the helicopter first for the examination,” Weiss said.

Investigators are confident they have enough information on the crash site because of drone photos and video and an overflight survey, he said.

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