comscore 6 sets of remains recovered in Kauai helicopter crash carrying 7; no signs of survivors | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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6 sets of remains recovered in Kauai helicopter crash carrying 7; no signs of survivors

  • Associated Press

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                This photo provided by the Hawaii department of Land and Natural Resources shows an area over Napali Coast State Wilderness Park where search and rescue are searching today for a tour Helicopter that disappeared in Hawaii with several people aboard. Authorities say the helicopter’s owner called for help about 45 minutes after the chopper was due back from a tour of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast on Thursday evening.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    This photo provided by the Hawaii department of Land and Natural Resources shows an area over Napali Coast State Wilderness Park where search and rescue are searching today for a tour Helicopter that disappeared in Hawaii with several people aboard. Authorities say the helicopter’s owner called for help about 45 minutes after the chopper was due back from a tour of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast on Thursday evening.

  • NICK GALANTE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
                                The office of Safari Helicopters in Lihue this afternoon following the recent discovery of the wreckage of one of its helicopters.

    NICK GALANTE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

    The office of Safari Helicopters in Lihue this afternoon following the recent discovery of the wreckage of one of its helicopters.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                This Dec. 17, 2019, aerial photo shows a waterfall on the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The Coast Guard is searching for a tour helicopter that disappeared on the Na Pali Coast with seven people aboard on Thursday. Authorities say the helicopter’s owner called for help about 45 minutes after the chopper was due back from the tour.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    This Dec. 17, 2019, aerial photo shows a waterfall on the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The Coast Guard is searching for a tour helicopter that disappeared on the Na Pali Coast with seven people aboard on Thursday. Authorities say the helicopter’s owner called for help about 45 minutes after the chopper was due back from the tour.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                This Dec. 17, 2019, aerial photo shows the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The Coast Guard is searching for a tour helicopter that disappeared on the Na Pali Coast with seven people aboard on Thursday. Authorities say the helicopter’s owner called for help about 45 minutes after the chopper was due back from the tour.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    This Dec. 17, 2019, aerial photo shows the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The Coast Guard is searching for a tour helicopter that disappeared on the Na Pali Coast with seven people aboard on Thursday. Authorities say the helicopter’s owner called for help about 45 minutes after the chopper was due back from the tour.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Incident Command Post responders look over a map of the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park on the Hawaiian island of Kauai today, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Incident Command Post responders look over a map of the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park on the Hawaiian island of Kauai today, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Cutter William Hart moves toward the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai today, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Cutter William Hart moves toward the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai today, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.

  • In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Cutter William Hart moves toward the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island. (Lt. j.g. Daniel Winter/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
    In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Cutter William Hart moves toward the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island. (Lt. j.g. Daniel Winter/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, a coast guard vessel searches along the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai today, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, a coast guard vessel searches along the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai today, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Cutter William Hart moves toward the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai today, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Cutter William Hart moves toward the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai today, the day after a tour helicopter disappeared with seven people aboard. Authorities say wreckage of the helicopter has been found in a mountainous area on the island.

UPDATE: 4:31 p.m.

Kauai firefighters said six sets of remains have been recovered and there are no survivors expected.

The Kauai Fire Department suspended its search at 3:30 p.m. due to fog and poor visibility.

KFD officials intend to resume the search tomorrow morning.

KFD describe the discovery in the area of the Milolii Ridge Road and the Nualolo Ridge Trail.

Kauai Police Chief Todd Raybuck said he is unable to identify the remains, which have been transferred to a Kauai hospital.

>> PHOTO GALLERY: Wreckage found of Hawaii tour helicopter carrying 7

Kauai Fire Battalion Chief Kanoho said that the weather can quickly change along the Na Pali Coast, where it can be clear in the morning but fog can roll in in the afternoon.

He said he could not confirm what the weather was like Thursday when the helicopter went down.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending three investigators to investigate the fatal crash and they will arrive on scene Saturday. The NTSB said it will provide an update Saturday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the wreckage was found approximately 13 miles north of of Hanapepe. The FAA and the NTSB will investigate, and the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the accident, the FAA said.

3 p.m.

Kauai Fire Battalion Chief Solomon Kanoho said the flight manifest shows there were two parties aboard the helicopter — one party of two and another party of four.

The debris was located 9:30 a.m. in a remote part of Kokee, he said at a news conference this afternoon.

Ground and air crews are continuing to search for survivors, Kanoho said.

The fire department is also focusing on identifying and contacting family members of the passengers on the flight manifest.

Kanoho said the National Transportation Safety Board was contacted and “the lead investigator is en route.”

The Kauai Fire Department requested the Federal Aviation Administration to establish a temporary flight restriction in the vicinity of the search area.

Several private helicopter companies offered assistance, but safety is paramount for the Coast Guard, Navy and others, so “we tried to hold off and … have them coordinate with the joint operation center,” Kanoho said.

He said the helicopter was traveling along the usual route that tour helicopters normally fly.

Due to the time of the notification, KFD notified the Coast Guard, which used its night-vision capabilities, and requested additional assets.

In addition to county fire and police and the Coast Guard, other agencies involved in the search and rescue efforts are the Civil Air Patrol, the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Hawaii National Guard.

11:55 a.m.

The wreckage of a Eurocopter AS350 carrying seven people has been found in Kokee near Nualolo, according to Kauai county officials.

The search for survivors is ongoing.

“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these passengers,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami. “Operations continue and we are doing everything we can at this time.”

The president and owner of Safari Helicopters could not be reached for comment at this time.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

The Coast Guard established a command post on Kauai as they collaborate with multiple agencies in the ongoing search for a missing Eurocopter AS350 tour helicopter carrying seven people.

There are no signs of the aircraft operated by Safari Helicopters.

“The search continues for the seven people and any sign” of the aircraft on Kauai,” said Lt. Chloe Harmon, command duty officer, Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu, in a news release today.

In emailed statement, Gov. David Ige said, ”We are currently coordinating with federal and local agencies and are ready to deploy state resources as needed to help in the search effort.

County officials said the helicopter with a pilot and six passengers was conducting a tour over the Na Pali Coast and scheduled to return to Lihue Airport at approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday. According to the Coast Guard, two minors are among the passengers aboard the chopper

According to preliminary report, the pilot’s last contact was made at about 4:40 p.m. when the pilot indicated they were leaving the Waimea Canyon area.

The aircraft has an electronic locator, but no signals have been received.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert notice for a Eurocopter AS350 helicopter after it was reported overdue.

The Coast Guard’s Dolphin helicopter crew conducted three search patterns throughout the night along the northwest portion of Kauai while the HSM-37 Seahawk crew scanned the northwest shoreline area for several hours.

The Coast Guard deployed its HC-130 airplane, MH-65 helicopter, 45-foot Response Boat Medium and William Hart (WPC 1134) today to resume the search for the chopper.

The U.S. Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crew, Civil Air Patrol is also assisting in air and ground searches along with the Kauai Fire Department, Kauai Police Department, state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Air National Guard and private helicopter companies.

Curt Lofstedt, president of Island Helicopters Kauai, said they have three helicopters assisting in the search.

Private helicopters are searching areas outside of Waimea Canyon, Lofstedt said.

Safari Helicopters has been conducting sight-seeing tours on Kauai since 1987. According to its website, the company operates AStar 350 B2-7 helicopters.

Today’s weather forecast includes winds at about 28 mph with wind waves at 7 feet, a northwest swell of 6 feet and scattered rain showers. A small craft advisory is in effect for waters around Kauai and northwest Oahu.

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