Army helicopter makes
emergency landing in Kunia

By Gregg K. Kakesako

A 25th Infantry Division OH-58D Kiowa Warrior scout helicopter made a forced landing near Kunia Road yesterday as a precautionary measure when one of the craft's gauges indicated a problem.

Capt. Stacy Bathrick, Army spokeswoman, said no one was injured in the incident that occurred just before 6 p.m. There were two people in the craft at the time.

The Kiowa belongs to the 25th Aviation Regiment, which is based at Wheeler Army Airfield.

This is the second incident involving 25th Division pilots and Kiowa helicopters this year.

On June 2, two pilots received minor injuries after their Kiowa Warrior scout helicopter crashed near a minefield in Bosnia. The helicopter struck some high-tension wires, made a hard landing, tipped over and came to rest within 400 yards of a marked minefield.

Capt. Beau Tibbits, a member of Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, was treated at the scene and released. Capt. Darren Musico, also with the 25th Aviation Regiment unit, was hospitalized overnight at Eagle Base in Tuzla, the American military base in Bosnia. The Army as yet hasn't released what caused the Bosnia accident.

Last Tuesday, a Hughes 500 helicopter, leased by the Army to do environmental surveys of its training areas, crashed in the Koolaus. The Federal Aviation Administration said the four-passenger helicopter owned by Cherry Helicopters was "a total loss." The pilot and three passengers escaped injury.

The pilot had dropped off biologist Naomi Arcand, 24, near the Puu Kaaumakua summit where the 25th Division's East Range meets the Oahu national forest refuge at the nearly 700-foot elevation of the Koolau Mountain Range.

The Hughes 500 apparently got caught in some vines in a "dynamic roll" when it lost power. The helicopter then fell down the mountainside and landed on its side 100 feet below the ridge.

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