By Beth Hillyer
KAUAI (KHNL) - Four people are dead, three others in critical condition after their tour helicopter crashes.
As the tour was ending and the Heli USA pilot neared the Princeville Airport he called out he was having hydraulic failure. He tried to land but the chopper crashed near the runway. The pilot is among the dead.
This video shows ambulances and fire fighters on scene. The tail snapped on impact. Broken blades dangle along side the downed chopper. The Heli-USA tour chopper crashed into a grassy field near their headquarters.
Three people died on impact. Four others were still alive. The scene was frantic as first responders tried to save the four critically injured victims.
Mary Daubert Kauai County Spokeswoman explains, "The pilot of Heli USA helicopters was experiencing some hydraulics problems as he was approaching Princeville Airport and radio'd his company dispatcher about the problem. Shortly afterward the helicopter crashed on the northwest end of the airport."
FAA Spokesman Ian Gregor adds, "The pilot had over 10 thousand hours of experience in that helicopter that's a lot of time. He was very experienced and unfortunately the pilot was one killed in crash."
Firefighters and paramedics were just minutes away from the Princeville Airport and were able to treat those in the quickly. We don't have any details on the victims except the three survivors, one woman and two men are being flown to Oahu for treatment.
An investigator with the Federal Aviation Administration is on scene tonight on Kauai.