Father says son moved to Hawaii to fly tour helicopters

Combined Shape

HONOLULU (AP) — A 28-year-old man who moved to Hawaii two weeks ago from New Mexico was the pilot who died along with two passengers when a tour helicopter crashed on a street in a Honolulu suburb, his father said Tuesday.

Joseph Berridge, who moved from Albuquerque to Honolulu, was the pilot of a four-seat Robinson R44 aircraft that crashed Monday morning on a residential two-lane road in Kailua, his father, Bobby Berridge, told The Associated Press from Garfield, New Mexico, where his son grew up on a 250-acre (101-hectare) farm.

“It was always my son’s dream to go to Hawaii and fly tours for a couple of years,” Bobby Berridge said. His son’s girlfriend and dog were preparing to join him.

The pilot and one of two female passengers in a fatal Hawaii helicopter crash have been identified by Honolulu’s Medical Examiner’s office. The department said Tuesday that pilot Berridge and 28-year-old Ryan McAuliffe of Chicago were killed in the Monday crash on a residential street in Kailua, a Honolulu suburb.

Officials also said that autopsies found all three people aboard the helicopter died of injuries from the crash. They said identification of the final passenger is pending.

Trending:
Facebook Oversight Board Member Goes Rogue, Eviscerates the Social Media Platform: 'Their Rules Are in Shambles'

The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, which helps tourists, told Hawaii News Now one passenger was from Australia and another was visiting from the U.S. mainland.

Bobby Berridge says his son’s employer, Novictor Helicopters, contacted his son’s girlfriend about the crash. CEO and chief pilot Nicole Vandelaar declined to confirm the pilot’s name.

“This accident is heartbreaking for everyone, especially the families and friends of the passengers and pilot, who was part of our Novictor family,” Vandelaar said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.”

The cause of the crash has not been determined.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were at the crash site Tuesday.

“I don’t know what happened with the crash, but he was a great helicopter pilot and he knew what he was doing,” Bobby Berridge said. “I’m not going to point fingers at this time.”

His son loved helicopters and also had an instructor’s license. “I talked to him about three or four days ago. He was on the beach enjoying life,” Bobby Berridge said. “He said, ‘Who has it better than I do?'”

__

This version corrects the spelling of Joseph Berridge’s first name and Garfield, New Mexico.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation