On almost any given weekday, Downtown Honolulu is buzzing with action. Bike messengers skillfully weave in and out of traffic, while pedestrians in their professional garb rush to their next engagement. Even tourists wander through the cluster of concrete in paradise, admiring the buildings’ architecture and cool trade-wind breeze.
However, the Downtown scene had been a little different one late afternoon. The surrounding one-way streets, usually lined with motorists in clouds of exhaust, were completely empty. So were the sidewalks. That’s because most of Downtown had been caught up with an unusual occurrence near Fort Street Mall. A helicopter had crashed into a parked car.
Apparently, the pilot had to make an emergency landing after experiencing engine failure when flying over Punchbowl. Luckily, no one was hurt during the incident. She had one passenger with her, a well-known aerial photographer in the islands who was getting shots of the Honolulu landmark during that flight.
But man, talk about a close call! Witnesses say the helicopter came to a skidding stop before veering right into a parked car. I wasn’t there at the time but had been getting text messages and calls from friends who work in the area. One of my friends had seen the copter getting closer and closer to the ground. If you were inside of a building nearby, you would have definitely heard it. And if you were a tourist walking the streets of Downtown at the time, imagine the stories you could tell.
There’s just never a dull moment in the islands. This was one of those freak accidents that almost never happen. Thankfully, it ended without too much commotion, and the only damage was to the copter and the parked car. Instead of getting upset, the young owner of the car (an Hawaii Pacific University student) could chuckle about it. He mentioned it being a rather awkward conversation to his car insurance company.
Photo Courtesy: Cathy Navares