A helicopter carrying a pilot and four tourists has gone down in a mountainous region of east Molokai after departing from Kahului on the Hawaiian island of Maui. All five people on board were fatally injured in the accident.
Authorites said the Eurocopter EC-130 went down Thursday in rugged terrain near an elementary school, according to Fox News. A report in the Honolulu Star Observer indicated the tourists were from the Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada, and that two of those on board were on their honeymoon.
The aircraft was on lease from Nevada Helicopter Leasing LLC, according to David Chevalier, owner of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters which operated the tour. A witness at the school said the aircraft hit the mountains above the campus, caught fire, and exploded. Kilohana Elementary School Principal Richard Stevens said the area had just experience a heavy rainshower, and "we made the assumption it was thunder."
The island of Molokai is popular with helicopter tour operators because of the ocean scenery and the presence of Hawaii's highest waterfall. Chevalier said that his company operates as many as 160,000 tours on all of the state's islands each year.
That was tragicAero News Network