Tour company releases statement on Kauai helicopter crash

Updated: Dec. 28, 2019 at 6:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The tour company involved in Thursday’s helicopter crash on Kauai offered its condolences to the victims and said it was cooperating with an ongoing investigation.

“The Safari Helicopter family, along with the broader community, mourn the loss of seven lives that were on Thursday’s sightseeing flight,” the company said, in a statement released Saturday afternoon.

“We mourn with the family members of those who were lost in the tragic accident.”

Killed in the crash were a mother and her 13-year-old daughter who were visiting from Wisconsin, a family of four believed to be visiting from Switzerland and the helicopter’s 69-year-old pilot, Paul Matero.

Safari Helicopter said Matero was its chief pilot and has 12 years of experience flying on Kauai.

“Safari is cooperating with the NTSB and the FAA to determine the cause of Thursday’s crash,” the company said. “Our prayers and love go out to all that are affected by this tragedy.”

Kauai authorities said the helicopter crashed Thursday night, on its way back to Lihue from a sightseeing tour of the Na Pali Coast. The aircraft came down in remote, steep terrain in Kokee.

This story will be updated.

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