HILO, Hawaii – A hard landing left a helicopter lying on its side in a grassy field just a short distance away from Hilo International Airport on Thursday. The photo of the scene is courtesy Dave Smith of BigIslandNow.com.
A Hawaii County Fire dispatch says the alarm went out at 1:15 p.m.
Five people were on board when the helicopter went down, including a family of four who was visiting from Texas. News video captured at the scene shows no one was badly hurt. The father, Paul Smith, sustained a cut on his leg, and told the videographer that he thought the problem was the helicopter did not have enough fuel for the trip to the volcano and back.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the crash. An FAA spokesperson told media that the pilot declared an emergency due to engine failure.
Paradise Helicopters shut down their tour operations for the rest of the day following the incident.