Report blames Molokai copter crash on pilot

Report blames Molokai copter crash on pilot

KAUNAKAKAI, Hawaii (AP) - The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the probable cause of a Molokai helicopter crash that killed all five people aboard was the pilot's failure to maintain clearance from mountains during inclement weather.

The NTSB on Friday published its final report on the 2011 crash. The pilot, a Canadian couple and newlyweds from Pittsburgh died when the sightseeing helicopter crashed sideways into mountains above an elementary school and burned.

The report says the crash likely began when the pilot failed to keep enough terrain clearance. The agency says contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to operate in an area surrounded by rising terrain amid rain and strong winds.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters says the company is studying the report's findings to improve processes and procedures.

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