Passengers Killed as Tour Helicopter Crashes in Hawaii

A tour helicopter crashed in Hawaii Monday, killing three people and spraying a suburban community with fire and parts of the aircraft.

According to The Associated Press, emergency personnel had been responding to another call in Kailua when they reportedly heard a massive bang and saw the helicopter on fire before crashing to the ground.

Police and firefighters were immediately sent to the area, where they found the helicopter had crashed on a two-lane road near several residential homes. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said all three people onboard were killed.

The FAA said the tour helicopter was a four-seat Robinson R44 aircraft, but the details of the crash and the identities of the victims have not been released.

The AP found the helicopter was registered to United Helicopter Leasing LLC of Honolulu, which listed Nicole Vandelaar as the manager. Vandelaar is also listed as the Novictor Helicopters founder and CEO.

The report claims another Robinson R44 aircraft operated by Novictor Helicopters crashed in October after the pilot lost consciousness twice, leaving the pilot and two passengers injured.

State Representative Cynthia Thielen is advocating for a ban on tour flights over Hawaii’s residential areas and national parks, as well as the grounding of all tour helicopters until an investigation into the crash is completed.

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