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A Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 trains at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Hawaii, May 3, 2017.

A Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 trains at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Hawaii, May 3, 2017. (Omar Powell/U.S. Navy)

A 64-year-old pilot was among the four civilian crew members killed this week in a helicopter crash at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

All were employees of the Oregon-based contractor Croman Corp., which identified the dead as:

• Daniel Maurice, 64, of Lyle, Wash., the chief pilot of the Sikorsky S-61N

• Patrick Rader, 55, command pilot and crew member

• Erika Tevez-Valdez, 42, a mechanic and crew member

• Matthew Haider, 43, a mechanic and crew member

Rader, Tevez-Valdez and Haider all lived on Kauai Island, where the missile facility is located.

The helicopter was supporting a training operation when it went down in the northern area of the installation around 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Navy.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

The S-61N, a civil version of the military’s Sea King medium-lift helicopter, is optimized for amphibious operations and can carry up to 15 passengers. The Sikorsky was destroyed in the crash, according to an incident notice by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The missile facility covers 1,100 square miles of underwater range and over 42,000 square miles of controlled airspace.

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Wyatt Olson is based in the Honolulu bureau, where he has reported on military and security issues in the Indo-Pacific since 2014. He was Stars and Stripes’ roving Pacific reporter from 2011-2013 while based in Tokyo. He was a freelance writer and journalism teacher in China from 2006-2009.
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