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UPDATE: Molokai Helicopter Crash Under Investigation

November 11, 2011

4:30 pm: MSNBC is now reporting that a National Transportation Board Safety investigator was due to arrive to begin probing why a tour helicopter slammed into a ridge on Molokai island, killing the pilot and four tourists on board.

The investigation will begin immediately, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer told the news service. A preliminary report would normally come within a week or two, but it could be months before the probable cause of the crash is determined.

A helicopter crash is under investigation after it slammed into a mountain ridge on Hawaii's Molokai island on November 10, killing the pilot and the four tourists aboard, according to MSNBC.

The crash occurred at 12:30 p.m. near the Kilohana School, according to Maui News.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters Owner David Chevalier said the tourists were two men and two women on a 45 minute tour departing from Maui.  Officials say two were newlyweds and all tourists were from Pennsylvania. Pilot Nathan Cline, 30, of Kihei, was also killed in the accident.

MSNBC reported that the EC-130 chopper was less than a year old and was leased from Nevada Helicopter Leasing LLC. Blue Hawaiian Helicopters operates 160,000 tours a year.

In 2000 a Blue Hawaiian helicopter crashed killing seven people. Several other helicopter tour companies have experienced deadly crashes over the last decade, according to MSNBC.

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