LIHU‘E — A new helicopter addition marks the start of Jack Harter’s 50th year of operation on Kaua‘i.
A blessing and dedication was held Thursday at the Lihu‘e Airport Heliport, officiated by Lady Ipo Kahaunaele-Ferreira of Ke Akua Mana Church.
Casey Riemer, the general manager and vice president of Jack Harter Helicopters, said the latest addition to the Jack Harter Helicopters fleet was purchased from and completed by Phoenix Heliparts in Mesa, Ariz.
“The helicopter, a four-passenger plus pilot aircraft, is not new, but it looks and flies like a brand-new aircraft,” Riemer said. “The MD500E helicopter will be used for tour flights as well as providing charter, photography, utility and external load flights.”
The addition of the new aircraft, N633JH, brings the Jack Harter Helicopters’ operational fleet to three MD500E and one Eurocopter AS350B2 AStar helicopters.
Jack Harter arrived on Kaua‘i in 1962 and started the first helicopter company on the island.
“Jack just wanted to fly,” said Bev Harter, Jack’s wife. “I took care of the books and Jack flew the helicopters. Today, I’m still stuck on the computers doing the financials and other business aspects, and Casey does an amazing job running the company.”
One of the first places where the Jack Harter Helicopters hangared was in an old sugar plantation garage located in Kukuiolono Park.
“One day, I saw a hole in the bubble,” Jack said. “I looked through the hole and there was a golf ball on the seat.”
Jana Herkes said Jack has a lot of stories and there should be a way to capture some of his tales, the golf ball tale being just one of the many he shares with his friends and the Jack Harter ‘ohana.
On behalf of the Jack Harter Helicopters ‘ohana, Herkes presented Jack and Bev Harter with an acrylic painting by Carmen Perez of the office building located on Ahukini Road.
The painting elicited giggles and comments on its realism.
The presentation was done in appreciation of the couple’s long-standing commitment to their company and to providing safe, high-quality operations on the island.
Riemer said the addition to the helicopter fleet was flown from Arizona to Los Angeles, where it was partially disassembled and transported to Honolulu in a 747 cargo plane by Pacific Air Cargo.
Once on O‘ahu, the aircraft was reassembled and flown to Lihu‘e for the celebration.
Visit www.helicopters-kauai.com for more information on Jack Harter Helicopters, or call 245-3774.