An owner of a helicopter inspection company has made a rare admission – that he was negligent for not making sure that the helicopter that crashed in downtown Honolulu was safe. Brant Swigart – the owner of Hawaii Air Power Labs – stated that he did not do his “due diligence” and was at fault. Swigart explained, “I've always told everybody this – that I wouldn't let anybody else fly in a helicopter that I wouldn't be willing to put my own family into, and I would've gotten into that helicopter with my baby daughter. I felt that it was safe. I hadn't actually checked that, and it would've been me in that instance …this cable failed because of negligence, and it was my negligence that caused it."
Swigart says it's not unheard of for a mixture cable to break, but the copter lost power because a back-up switch also failed. "I didn't physically inspect that assembly. And if I had I would have caught it. And if I had caught it, it would have been rectified. And had it been rectified, this wouldn't have happened," explained Swigart.
While many individuals responsible for an accident may try to avoid accepting blame, Swigart says he needed to come forward and take accountability to be able to sleep at night. "When I didn't know that everybody was ok – that was the worst moment of my life. I'm trying to atone for that in some way," said Swigart.
Although Swigart was not the last mechanic to work on the copter, he believes as the owner of the company, it’s his responsibility to check everything.