Sat, Nov 12, 2011
Aircraft Went Down During A Flight Over West Maui
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.
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