Successful sightseeing operator Blue Hawaiian Helicopters suffered a fatal accident on the island of Molokai on Thursday. Having taken off from Kahului on Maui island, the 45 minute tour. Molokai is a mostly rural island with about 7,000 resident population.
The tourists, two male and two female, were from Pennsylvania and Ontario according to local reports, one of which suggested that at least two were very recently married. Four bodies have been retrieved and the fifth one located under the wreckage.
Blue Hawaiian owner David Chevalier has stated that the helicopter was less than a year old.
An employee of the nearby Kilohana Elementary School saw the helicopter hit the hillside in the mountains above the campus, and there was a large boom, said Principal Richard Stevens. "We just had a heavy downpour. We made the assumption it was thunder," Stevens said. "You could see smoke coming up, even though it was very cloudy." The school campus is now being used by emergency services as a staging area and control post.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters operates around 160,000 tourist flights a year.
HeliHub.com has a page for every reported accident. For this event, see 10-Nov-11 Eurocopter EC130 Molokai, US-Hawaii (5F)
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