UPDATED 2:31 p.m.
Blue Hawaiian confirmed this afternoon that one of its helicopters was involved in a “precautionary landing” in Leilani Estates earlier today.
Here is the statement from Quentin Koch, president of Blue Hawaiian helicopters:
“On March 5, a Blue Hawaiian aircraft was in flight near the Leilani Estates area when the pilot conducted a precautionary landing. The helicopter had launched from the Hilo base on the’Circle of Fire’ tour. The five passengers on board and the pilot are safe.
The safety of our passengers and pilot are our always top priority, and the pilot’s decision to safely land the aircraft is always the right decision.
Local emergency services were called and we have notified the FAA and NTSB. We are committed to working closely with both the FAA and NTSB.”
A tour helicopter made a hard landing and rolled over today in Puna, officials confirmed.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said he had no immediate reports of injuries. The helicopter had departed from Hilo International Airport, he said.
The chopper was reportedly a Blue Hawaiian helicopter, but that couldn’t immediately be confirmed.
Officials say the helicopter went down in Puna, and a rescue helicopter was trying to find it in an inaccessible area.
Eight people were aboard the helicopter, Hawaii County Fire Department Battalion Chief William Bergin said. “The pilot had to set the aircraft down” because an indicator light showed a problem with the tail rotor, he said.