Tour helicopter missing off Kauai, Hawaii, seven people feared dead

Kauai's Nā Pali Coast

Enlarge Image Kauai's Nā Pali Coast Shutterstock

The crash was a minimum of the ninth, and by far the deadliest, involving sightseeing helicopters in Hawaii over the earlier 5 years, consistent with Nationwide Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) data.

Kanoho said the passengers were from two families and one family was a group of four. There were seven people on board, including two children.

Kanoho declined to explain particulars of the wreckage out of respect for the victims' family members. "All I can tell you is that it was located in a steep (inland ) area of Kokee".

"Kauai is incredibly unforgiving terrain", Sanger said.

Kauai officials were working to notify the next of kin of passengers on the flight manifest. He said he could not confirm Thursday's weather.

Steep terrain, low visibility, choppy seas and rain have made the search more hard, the agency said.

The pilot was reportedly on the "prescribed route" at the time of the crash.

The Coast Guard, working with partners, is establishing an incident command post on Kauai in response to the missing commercial helicopter, Friday. They have since managed to retrieve six bodies, but are still searching for remains of the seventh person.

The search resumed on Saturday for the last victim of the helicopter crash.

The Coast Guard planned to continue the search with a HC-130 Hercules airplane and a fresh Dolphin helicopter crew at first light on Friday morning.

They later requested support from U.S. Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 in Kaneohe Bay, according to the press release.

Curt Lofstedt, president of Island Helicopters Kauai, also had three helicopters assisting in the search. Gannon, who also co-founded the Social Good Network, worked with other area nonprofits supporting diversity and inclusion, and served on many women-led company boards.

"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 Saturday.

The company made that report after a tour helicopter went down in a residential neighborhood on the island of Oahu in April, killing three individuals.

"[Kauai] has microclimates, so the weather at the airport is going to be different than up at the crash location", Sanger said. (AP Photo/Maryclaire Dale) This Dec. 17, 2019, aerial photo shows the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Common points of interest include Jurassic Park Falls, the Hanapepe Valley, Waimea Canyon, the Nā Pali Coast, the Hanalei Valley, and Mt. Waialeale.

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