KONA, Hawaii: A helicopter on a training flight went down for a hard landing in Kona on Wednesday, according to rescue crews.
Emergency personnel responded to the scene, described as an open field by the fire department but more precisely detailed in news reports as being very close to Charles Schwab’s private golf course, Nane’a, just across Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway and slightly mauka of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.
The Fire Department says the Robinson R-22 Moanaloa Helicopter experienced engine failure. A student and instructor onboard were extricated by rescue crews, and both were transported to Kona Community Hospital. They sustained non-life threatening injuries.
According to a report by Sherry Bracken on the Big Island News Center, Mauna Loa Helicopters conducts flight training at different airports in the state, including from Kona International Airport. They’ve operated helicopter training flights since 1992, according to their web site. Bracken reports the Robinson R22 is a two-bladed, single-engine light utility helicopter. The two-seat R22 was designed in 1973.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board plan to be on scene Thursday to investigate the accident to determine the cause.