Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Copter engine to be tested

 • Services for Kaua'i helicopter pilot set

Advertiser Staff and News Services

LIHUE, Kaua'i — A tour helicopter may have lost engine power just before crashing into a mountain last week and killing all five people onboard, a National Transportation Safety Board official said yesterday.

"We're looking at signatures consistent with loss of engine power prior to impact," NTSB spokesman Wayne Pollack said.

The power failure could have been caused by several factors including altitude, fuel contamination or combustibility, officials said.

The engine will be sent to California where it will be examined by the NTSB, Federal Aviation Administration and engine maker Rolls Royce to help determine what caused the accident.

Pollack said the survey of the crash scene on Wai'ale'ale Crater has been completed and about 99 percent of the wreckage has been recovered.

The Jack Harter Helicopters' Bell 206-B Jet Ranger crashed about 4,700 feet up the crater and slid down to about the 4,400-feet level, Pollack said.

The pilot, Mark Lundgren, 44, of Puhi, and passengers Edward J. Wadiak, 55, and his wife, Teresa M. Wadiak, 53, of Manassas, Va., and Jeffrey Peterson, 33, of Denver, were dead by the time rescuers reached the crash site three hours later.

Peterson's 33-year-old wife, Monica Peterson, was found alive, but she died before a rescue helicopter could return to the site.

James and Teresa Wadiak were on the trip to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Teresa Wadiak was a Fairfax County school teacher. Edward Wadiak owned a satellite tracking company.

Jeffrey and Monica Peterson were celebrating their second wedding anniversary.

Jeffrey Peterson owned a commercial and residential painting company, Colorado Paint Works, that employed about 30. Monica Peterson designed clothing, handbags and wedding dresses. She also taught fashion design at the Colorado Institute of Art and was an interior designer, the Denver Post reported.

The couple met when Jeffrey answered Monica's romance ad in a weekly Denver newspaper, a family friend said. They married June 30, 2001, in Colorado and the Hawai'i trip was a delayed honeymoon. The couple did not have any children.