Nicole Charnon, lead National Transportation Safety Board investigator of the Sept. 24 Bali Hai Helicopter Tours crash, wrapped up her work on Kauai after the last pieces of wreckage were recovered yesterday. Pieces of the jet engine, which will be sent to the mainland to be dismantled, are to the right of her. In front of Charnon are the transmission and mast with one rotor blade still attached. The debris, laid out on a hangar floor at Lihue Airport, will be stored and eventually returned to the tour company. The pilot and all four passengers were killed.

Final necessary pieces
of air wreck are gathered

LIHUE >> Charred bits and pieces of what had been a Bell Jet Ranger tour helicopter were scattered on the floor of a hangar at Lihue Airport yesterday.

The doors, one rotor blade, the instrument panel and the tail boom were all that were recognizable. Almost nothing was left of the large fuel bladder, which was destroyed in the crash.

"I've seen worse," said National Transportation Safety Board lead investigator Nicole Charnon, who planned to leave Kauai today. "We've got all we're going to get."

After spending a frustrating weekend fighting the wind at the crash site northeast of Port Allen, a recovery crew reached the site yesterday where the pilot and four passengers were killed instantly when the Bali Hai Helicopter Tours helicopter slammed into the face of a cliff on Sept. 24.

Much of the wreckage had been lifted out Friday. The last pieces Charnon needed were gathered yesterday morning. The bodies of the five victims were recovered from the site last week.

The engine will be shipped to the mainland where it will be taken apart by technicians.

The main rotor and tail rotor transmissions are still intact and turn freely. Charnon said there is no need to dismantle them.

"There were no anomalies," she said, meaning she saw nothing unusual that would point to a mechanical failure as the cause for the crash.

Her report will be submitted to the NTSB in about a year.



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