A Blue Hawaiian tour helicopter suffered an engine failure about a quarter mile offshore on Kauai’s North Shore Sunday and was forced to make a “hard landing” on the beach, according to a preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The preliminary report said the pilot of Airbus EC130 was at about 1,300 feet when heard the low rotor rpm aural warning horn.
The pilot, who was carrying six passengers, started autorotation and turned to Kalalau Beach located two miles west of Hanalei.
The pilot reported over the radio that he had an engine failure.
As he approached the shoreline, he made a right turn south and landed hard on the beach.
The EC130 light single-engine helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom and airframe.
The pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries and four were seriously injured.
According to a Kauai Fire Department, four people sustained back injuries, and another person may have suffered minor undefined injuries in the landing.
The five were taken via helicopter to Princeville Airport where they were taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
Another Blue Hawaiian helicopter took the pilot and another passenger, both uninjured, to Lihue Airport.
The tour helicopter left the airport at 2:06 p.m and the engine failure occurred 30 minutes later.