Pilot’s arraignment is Tuesday

The pilot of the flight-seeing helicopter that crashed off Kaua’i’s North Shore in September is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Glen Lampton faces three counts of manslaughter, two counts of second-degree reckless endangering, one count of falsifying records, and one count of tampering with evidence.

He is scheduled to enter his plea to the charges before Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge George Masuoka.

Lampton was indicted last month by Kaua’i grand jury members.

The Heli USA Airways’ helicopter that Lampton piloted crashed in the afternoon of Sept. 23. Three of six people aboard died.

Two visitors from Portland, Maine, and a visitor from Beloit, Wis., died.

Survivors included pilot Lampton, and two visitors from Beloit, Wis.

The helicopter was about 23 minutes into a 45-minute flight-seeing tour that began about 1:54 p.m. when it encountered rough weather.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report, the helicopter crashed in the ocean several hundred yards off the coastline at Ke’e Beach near Ha’ena.

The preliminary report shows that, before the helicopter crashed, Lampton told the passengers to open the doors. He also sent a mayday distress call as the helicopter hit the water, bounced back into the air, then hit the water again.

The helicopter stayed on the water for a short time before it eventually rolled to the right, according to the NTSB preliminary report.

Since the helicopter crash, Heli USA Airways’ Vice President John Power said that Lampton would not be allowed to return to flying until the investigation was completed.

Last month, Power pointed out that Lampton’s helicopter was hit by heavy wind shear caused by a microburst, or a quickly developing storm system with rain and wind.

He also said Lampton wasn’t alone flying in the storm. Pilots of other tour helicopters were flying in that weather, Power said.


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