Tour Helicopter Makes Hard Landing on Big Island

Alex Chai
Alex Chai
Bob Blair
Bob Blair

HILO (KHNL) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the emergency landing of a tour helicopter on the Big Island.

The helicopter took off from Hilo at about 2:00 Thursday afternoon, when it began to experience engine problems.

It landed in a field about 6 miles west of the hilo airport, and turned over on its side.

The chopper is run by Paradise Tropical Helicopters.

One of the company's pilots and five passengers were on board.

They suffered minor injuries and were able to get out of the chopper by the time emergency officials arrived.

The pilot told rescue crews that he lost power five minutes into the flight, and tried to make it back to the airport.

"I didn't see it crash. I saw it as it went down behind the trees and heard the propellers stop," said Alex Chai, witness.

"We had a precautionary landing. Nobody was hurt and we're going to go up and take a look at the aircraft to see how we can get it back down," said Bob Blair, chief pilot.

Bob Blair says the chopper was scheduled to take the passengers on a 45-minute tour.

It landed near the Wailuku River.