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Napali Coast's Kalalau trail reopens today after helicopter accident

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:36 p.m. HST, Sep 14, 2013

The Kalalau Trail in Napali Coast State Wilderness Park will reopen to hikers and campers today, two days after a helicopter was hit by debris at Kalalau Beach, the Department of Land and Natural Resources announced.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration released the site on Friday following the conclusion of a crash investigation, allowing the helicopter's owner, Airborne Aviation, to recover the aircraft.

The crash occurred during a three-day enforcement and maintenance project to clear and remove discarded camping gear and associated trash from illegal campsites throughout the valley.

The pilot was uninjured, but the two passengers who were state Department of Land and Natural Resources employees, sustained minor injuries, Airborne Aviation's co-owner said.

The Hughes 369 helicopter, tail number N519PA, had landed at about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday when a tarp on the ground blew into the rotor blades, damaging the aircraft, the FAA said.

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