Robinson R22 Autorotates Successfully onto Honolulu Street

** Photo courtesy of the Honolulu Police

The 30-year-old pilot of a Robinson R22 said she was surprised when the engine quit at 3,000 feet above a crowded section of Honolulu. But her training took over and she executed a successful autorotation onto Fort Street, lined with apartments and located near a college campus. Pilot Julia Link told reporters, “First I thought it was a joke and then, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is for real.’”

Photos show the helicopter with its skids separated, both windshields missing and drooping, and bent rotor blades. Link and her 71-year-old male passenger were not seriously injured (he was treated at the scene for a minor head injury), nor was anyone on the ground. The flight, operated by Mauna Loa Helicopters, was reportedly a photo mission.

Link told reporters she was glad everyone walked away alive and there were no injuries.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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