#HAPPENINGNOW This is the helicopter that crashed at the @cityofhayward Executive Airport. Flight instructor and student were practicing takeoffs and landings. Flight instructor is dead, student is in critical condition. @HaywardPD and @NTSB will investigate. #abc7now pic.twitter.com/yFBJ0oJs05— Laura Anthony (@LauraAnthony7) July 15, 2019
Scott Matthes heard the crash at the airport.
"I heard a loud bang, I parked over there and saw smoke and a lot of commotion."
The crash happened around 2:30 pm Monday near runway 28 Left, the helicopter flipped upside down. Airport officials say a flight instructor and a student were doing training flights.
"They were practicing hovering unique to helicopters, something happened and the helicopter crashed," said Hayward Airport Manager Doug McNeeley.
A student pilot was injured in the crash, but his flight instructor was killed. The Alameda County Coroner identifies him as Wayne Prodger of Sunnyvale.
Friends of Prodger say he was a longtime instructor at CFI Helicopters Flight School. Many are stunned.
"It's sad, I just ran into him several times today-- the next thing you know, I won't be seeing him-- disturbing," said Balvinder Chadha.
The FAA says Prodger and his student were flying in a Robinson R44 helicopter.
"The Robinson models are popular for flight instruction, considered the gold standard," said McNeeley.
#DEVELOPING This helicopter’s tail number matches the one of the chopper that crashed at the @cityofhayward Executive Airport It’s from the Pacific Helicopters FB page. It’s an R44 Robinson 4-seater. Airport manager says it was practicing “hovering.” Flight instructor died. pic.twitter.com/bKEOtNwpCY— Laura Anthony (@LauraAnthony7) July 16, 2019
The chopper is owned by Pacific Helicopters, according to the FAA.
What caused the crash is still unknown. The FAA will also be investigating what went wrong with the training flight.