Hawaii pilot killed in Indiana helicopter crash
An experienced helicopter pilot from Hawaii is dead, after his aircraft crashed in the Midwest.
53-year-old Howard Esterbrook of Kapolei was in Indiana to install power lines to new electrical towers when the helicopter he was flying crashed in northern Indiana Tuesday.
Its unknown at the time what exactly caused the aircraft to go down.
Family and friends said Esterbrook is a well-known pilot in Hawaii's aviation community with many years of flying experience.
He is also a Hawaii National Guardsman with 28 years of service, piloting Chinook helicopters. He served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and was about to start training for his third deployment.
Esterbrook also worked for Rogers Helicopter and Pacific Helicopter on Maui.
"We are all just stunned and heartbroken here. Howard was a meticulous pilot, he's had a lot of years of experience. He's been doing utility work since the early 90's," said Colleen Hauptman, President of Pacific Helicopter Tours.
His family said Esterbrook had a deep love for flying and for serving his county.
In a statement released by a family member it said:
"We are all pretty much in a trance, not really believing this happened. i am comforted to know how much Howard has made such an impact on his Hawaii national guard buddies, co workers, and many others."
Howard Esterbrook leaves behind his wife of 25-years, Laura Alapa-Esterbook and daughter Tylor.