Maui News

Minor Injuries in Helicopter Crash at Sacred Falls

April 16, 2019, 12:57 PM HST
* Updated April 16, 8:20 PM
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Sacred Falls Helicopter Crash. Photo credit: DLNR

Sacred Falls Helicopter Crash. Photo credit: DLNR

Sacred Falls Helicopter Crash. Photo credit: DLNR

UPDATE:

A helicopter under contract to the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) crashed this morning in a gully in Sacred Falls State Park on O‘ahu. One passenger has a bruised arm but otherwise the pilot and the other two passengers were not hurt. All of them hiked out of the area to meet emergency responders. All four people declined medical treatment and are being transported back to Honolulu by a DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officer.

The chopper was ferrying one DOFAW employee and two representatives from Pacific Rim Conservation, a non-profit organization that conducts field work on behalf of DOFAW, into the adjacent Kaluanui Natural Area Reserve to deploy seabird song meters, which record bird sounds for population studies. One of the passengers reports that the helicopter landed upside down in the gulch with both its main rotor and tail rotor severed from the aircraft frame. He described the helicopter as destroyed.

Marigold Zoll DOFAW O‘ahu Branch Manager said, “We follow a stringent set of safety protocols and one of these protocols is known as “flight-following,” which resulted in the incident being reported very quickly. We are thankful everyone walked away from this accident.”

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There were no injuries in a helicopter hard-landing in a remote area above Sacred Falls on O‘ahu this morning, state officials said.

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The helicopter was under contract to the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife and had a pilot and three passengers aboard.

DLNR officials say the helicopter landed in the remote Kaluanui Natural Area Reserve and all aboard were currently hiking out of the area (as of 12:41 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2019).

Both the Honolulu Fire Department and officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement are responding, though none of the people involved is requiring medical attention.

Dan Dennison DLNR Senior Communications Manager issued a press release update saying, “The chopper was ferrying one DOFAW employee and two representatives from Pacific Rim Conservation, a non-profit organization that conducts field work on behalf of DOFAW, into the NAR to deploy seabird song meters, which record bird sounds for population studies.”

Marigold Zoll DOFAW O‘ahu Branch Manager said, “We follow a stringent set of safety protocols and one of these protocols is known as “flight-following,” which resulted in the incident being reported very quickly. We are thankful everyone walked away from this without injury.”

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