J11- All five people aboard died Thursday, Nov. 10, when a tour helicopter crashed and burst into flames on Moloka'i's east end, in the deadliest helicopter crash in Maui County in more than a decade. The crash of the Eurocopter EC130B4 operated by Blue Hawaiian Helicopters was reported at 12:23 p.m. about three-quarters of a mile from Kilohana Elementary School, mauka of Kamehameha V Highway. Witnesses said they heard an explosion and saw a "ball of fire" as the aircraft crashed into the side of the mountain.
The helicopter, which was on an air tour flight from Maui to Moloka'i, was engulfed in flames after the crash, said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration Pacific Division. The helicopter pilot was identified as 30-year-old Nathan Cline of Kihei.
Maui Police Department spokesman Lt. Wayne Ibarra said police were in the process of notifying family members of the four passengers, who weren't from Hawai'i, before releasing their names.