Paradise Helicopters CEO Releases Statement in Light of NYC Copter Crash

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Calvin Dorn, CEO of Paradise Helicopters, has released a statement regarding the recent FAA directive on “doors-off” helicopter flights using specific types of passenger harnesses.


“The entire team at Paradise Helicopters shares its heartfelt condolences to those affected by the Sunday helicopter incident in New York City,” said Dorn.

Five people were killed after a helicopter crashed into the East River off Manhattan on Sunday, March 11, 2018, leaving only the pilot alive.


In the wake of the crash that crash, Federal Aviation Administration regulators on Friday afternoon, March 17, ordered an immediate stop to all “doors-off” helicopter flights that attach passengers to the cabin with harnesses that cannot be removed quickly in an emergency.

“While extremely rare,” Dorn continued, “these tragic events underscore the need for every helicopter and aircraft operator to abide by comprehensive safety protocol that meets the highest industry and regulatory standards.

“Paradise does not use the type of harness or aircraft involved in this incident. The “doors-off” flights that our guests have enjoyed for 20 years will continue to operate without interruption. All flights are conducted in an appropriate helicopter in an FAA-permitted flight configuration.

“Paradise has been a leader in helicopter safety since our founding in 1997. We actively work to identify and mitigate risk and use best practices for all operations. This includes using FAA-approved seat belts with quick releases on our flights as well as conducting specific passenger safety training prior to each flight. In addition, all tour passengers are briefed to refrain from placing hands, feet, or objects outside the aircraft at any time.

“We work hard to be the best helicopter tour company in Hawai‘i and we are proud of our ongoing safety program. In the past five years, Paradise Helicopters established a robust Safety Management System and has completed the International Business Aviation Council’s Stage 2 certification.

“In 2016, Paradise became the first air-tour company in the world to be certified by Helicopter Association International’s Accreditation Program of Safety (HAI-APS) for Air Tour Operations. Under the Paradise Helicopters safety program, the company will continue to review operations to ensure the strength of our safety and risk-management procedures.

Visit for additional information on our industry-leading aircraft, pilots and safety standards.


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