Minor injuries after helicopter makes 'hard landing' in Kona

Source: Steve Nation
Source: Steve Nation

A helicopter training flight carrying two men made a hard landing Wednesday afternoon in Kona.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the helicopter left the Kona International Airport and went down about 10 miles northeast of the airport

Emergency crews responded to the accident around 3:30 p.m.  Gregor said the helicopter was a two-seat Robinson R-22.

It is owned by Hawaii Pacific Aviation which does business as Mauna Loa Helicopters. According to fire officials, the helicopter experienced engine failure.

"It autorotated to the ground upright," said Capt. Michael Andrade of the Hawaii County Fire Department. "It got damaged. I don't know the severity of the damage, but the helicopter has been damaged."

Andrade said the two men onboard suffered minor injuries and went to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment.

Hawaii News Now spoke to an employee at Mauna Loa helicopters who told us that it was a rough training flight with a student pilot and instructor onboard, but that they were not injured.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating.

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