Rescuers in Hawaii find wreckage of helicopter


The aircraft had taken off for a tour of Kauai's Na Pali Coast and failed to return to Lihue Airport at 5:21 p.m., according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Seven people, including two minors and the pilot, were aboard the helicopter, according to the Coast Guard's Friday press release.

The helicopter's owner - Safari Helicopter - contacted search and rescue about 45 minutes after the aircraft was due back from a flight around Kauai's Na Pali coast on Thursday night, officials said.

A search is underway for a tour helicopter that went missing on Thursday evening while sight-seeing along Kauai's Nā Pali Coast in Hawaii.

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Muir identified the helicopter company as Safari Helicopters.

The locator devices are created to activate when an aircraft crashes, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email.

The helicopter has an electronic locator, but no signals had been received, according to the Coast Guard. Mr Gregor said the locator devices are created to activate in a crash.

"Operations continue and we are doing everything we can at this time", said Kauai's mayor, Derek Kawakami.

Remains of six occupants of the Eurocopter AS350 B2 helicopter were recovered Friday afternoon from the crash site in a remote area of Kokee near Milolii Ridge Road and the Nualolo Trail.

The NTSB plans to send three investigators to Hawaii, and they're slated to arrive over the weekend.

A Hawaii lawmaker warned that tour helicopters and small aircraft operations "are not safe" following the Thursday helicopter crash that killed seven people in his state. However, Kauai County fire battalion chief Solomon Kanoho said that the area where the helicopter went down witnessed "some very bad weather" beforehand. Red rock cliffs with thick jungle canopies rise from the Pacific Ocean to more than 1,219 meters high. "Those microclimates can come on very quickly and dissipate quickly too, so the weather reporting is hard".

The Navy, Civil Air Patrol, Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Kauai National Guard, and commercial helicopters subsequently joined the search. There can be heavy rain and strong winds which sometimes make it hard, if not impossible, for theft, "he said".

And even the beaches there would be a hard place to land a helicopter.

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