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Hawaii crash is probed

The copter came down on a city street, injuring the two people aboard.

HONOLULU - The president of a helicopter company whose small copter crash-landed on a downtown Honolulu street praised the pilot Thursday, while the National Transportation Safety Board leads an investigation.

No one was badly hurt when the two-seater helicopter lost power, forcing the crash landing Wednesday afternoon. The NTSB is not sending anyone to the crash site but will investigate remotely, with help from local authorities and the Federal Aviation Administration, board spokesman Keith Holloway said.

Two FAA inspectors were at the scene Wednesday afternoon and interviewed the pilot, Julia Link, 30, agency spokesman Ian Gregor said. "We're still looking into the incident and don't have any preliminary findings to report," he said.

FAA records show Link has had a helicopter commercial pilot certificate since May 2012. She has been working as a flight instructor for Mauna Loa Helicopters for about a year, after graduating from the company's flight school, said Benjamin Fouts, president.

The company isn't planning to close or do anything differently during the investigation. "Nothing's really changed here," Fouts said. "In aviation, unfortunately, accidents do happen."

He said he's eager to know why the engine failed so he can ensure it won't happen again.

The NTSB expects to publish a preliminary report in 10 days.

"My hat goes off to Julia. She performed so well under pressure," Fouts said. "You couldn't be more proud."