Chopper crash near Arizona Memorial 2nd involving tour helicopters this year

Chopper crash near Arizona Memorial 2nd involving tour helicopters this year

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A sightseeing chopper crash off the Arizona Memorial visitors center on Thursday is the second accident of the year involving a tour helicopter and the fifth since 2010.

Just one of those previous crashes in the last five years was also fatal: A 31-year-old pilot and four passengers were killed on Nov. 10, 2011, when a Blue Hawaiian helicopter slammed into a hillside on Molokai.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation faulted the pilot, saying he failed to properly clear terrain during bad weather.

Meanwhile, the only other accident involving a tour helicopter this year happened on Jan. 17, when a Blue Hawaiian Airbus EC130 helicopter reportedly lost engine power and landed hard on a beach two miles west of Hanalei.

Four passengers were seriously injured, NTSB accident records show. The pilot and two other passengers sustained minor injuries.

There were no Hawaii tour helicopter accidents in 2015, and just one in 2014. On June 17, 2014, a Sunshine Helicopters Airbus AS350 helicopter sustained substantial damage when it made a hard landing in Wailuku. The pilot and five passengers escaped without injury.

In 2013, there was one tour helicopter accident in Hawaii. An NTSB report said the pilot and four passengers in a Paradise Helicopters chopper were uninjured in the crash, which happened when the helicopter was low on fuel and subsequently lost power.

The pilot was forced to make a hard landing at Hilo airport. When the chopper landed, the helicopter skidded and rolled on its side.

NTSB data shows no tour helicopter crashes in 2012. The fatal Blue Hawaiian crash was the only tour helicopter accident in 2011.

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