Preliminary Report: Helo and pilot lost in ocean
Hughes 369, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Dec. 27, 2008–The Oceanside Helicopters 369 crashed into the Pacific Ocean and sank after the pilot lost control while taking off from a fishing boat on the Solomon Sea, about 350 miles west of Honiara. The pilot was not found and is presumed dead; the passenger was seriously injured. The helicopter was not recovered.
The helicopter’s mechanic, who saw the accident, said the pilot forgot to remove the anti-torque pedal lock before he took off. The helicopter lifted off and began to spin. The mechanic saw the pilot “trying to grab the pedal lock” without success.