Student Helicopter Pilot Crashes at Hayward Airport

JULY 3, 2001

A student pilot crashed his helicopter at the Hayward Airport yesterday at 2:30 p.m. Both the student, Jameel Qureshi, and an instructor, Simon Edwards, were able to walk away from the crash.

The aircraft crashed between taxiway Z on the southside and the main runway, and was reportedly destroyed. It was a Roberts R-22, a two-person helicopter commonly used to train pilots.

Qureshi is a student of Sierra Academy of Aeronautics, based at the Oakland Airport. The school's chief flight instructor, Tom Awiszus, was quoted as saying that Qureshi was learning how to handle a helicopter when it loses power during a landing, a so-called auto-rotation maneuver. However, during the maneuver the helicopter actually lost power, whereupon it crashed, according to Awiszus.

Helicopter pilot training appears to be on the increase at Hayward Airport, judging from the frequent operation of helicopters in the area west of the runway. HAI, the world's largest helicopter pilot training school, routinely sent student pilots to the Hayward field for practice until it moved from Concord to Florida recently.

Source: Based in part on a report in the Daily Review