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Private helicopter crashes near HPU downtown shuttle stop

    By Pavel Stankov. May 8, 2013 - 4:28 pm


A private helicopter crashed onto a parked car near the HPU Shuttle stop on the crossing of Fort St. and Beretania.

The incident happened Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. The pilot, Julia Link, 30, was hired by Karl Hedberg, a 71-year-old male visitor, who wanted to take scenic pictures of Honolulu. While they were on top of Punchbowl a sudden engine failure caused them too look for an emergency landing sight.

That sight turned out to be the car of Matthew Lau, a Military Studies major at HPU, who had been taking his Spanish final at exactly the same time. “Somebody texted me ‘I hope it wasn’t your car’ and I didn’t know what they were talking about.”

Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured. The people in the helicopter also had just minor injuries and are currently in Queens Medical Center.

The pilot manuevered the brand new Robinson R22 Beta into a less severe landing. The location beside the Beretania Fire Station was not chosen intentionally, though it did allow the firefighters who heard the crash to respond within one minute.

The HPU shuttle, which at the time was parked feet away from the crash, was left unaffected, and so was the driver. No bystanders were injured. The helicopter luckily avoided the Kukui Plaza apartment building.

Lau said he bought the black Mazda just a year ago.

An incident like a helicopter falling on a car is not an everyday one.

“My auntie works for State Farm,” said Lau. “She had to call me back because it’s a complicated case.”


HPU student Matthew Lau was surprised to find his car wrecked by a helicopter after his Spanish final.

Photos by Pavel Stankov