Pilot’s Skills Saves Four Passengers In Helicopter Crash on Hawaii’s Honopu Beach


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A helicopter tour flying over the breathtaking landscapes of Kauai, Hawaii, took a thrilling turn when a critical engine failure forced an emergency landing on the remote Honopu Beach.

The incident occurred on February 27, 2024, and involved a helicopter operated by Jack Harter Helicopters, a prominent tour company based in Lihue.

Miraculously, all five occupants, including four passengers and the chief pilot, emerged unharmed from the dramatic crash landing.

During the afternoon flight over Honopu Beach, the MD500E helicopter suddenly lost power while in mid-air. Despite the harrowing situation, the skilled pilot successfully executed an autorotation maneuver.

This technique allowed the rotor blades to be powered by the airflow rather than relying on engine power, enabling a controlled descent and ensuring everyone’s safety as the aircraft landed safely on the ground.


Illustration by Charles Floyd

Kauai County issues the following statement:

One person was injured following a helicopter crash at Honopu Beach on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

On Tuesday, first responders were dispatched to a report of a helicopter crash at Honopu Beach at approximately 1:40 p.m.

Personnel from the Hanalei fire station and Rescue 3 aboard Air 1 responded to the incident.

According to a preliminary report, a Jack Harter helicopter carrying one pilot and four passengers crashed at Honopu Beach, with one passenger suffering a back injury. The three passengers and the pilot did not report any injuries, and were later retrieved by another Jack Harter helicopter. After Air 1 landed, Rescue 3 accessed the injured person and transported the passenger to Princeville Airport to awaiting personnel with American Medical Response.

First responders cleared the scene at approximately 3:40 p.m.

Terrifying video footage shows the dramatic moment when a helicopter appeared to be headed for the ocean, only for the skilled pilot to expertly maneuver it and safely land on the sandy shore instead.

In the closing moments of the clip, the helicopter can be seen just before making a smooth touchdown on the beach, showcasing the pilot’s impressive skill and quick thinking.


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