An Australian woman has reportedly been killed in a Hawaii helicopter crash. Picture: Marco Garcia/AP
An Australian woman has reportedly been killed in a Hawaii helicopter crash. Picture: Marco Garcia/AP

Aussie killed in Hawaii helicopter crash

An Australian woman has reportedly been killed in a helicopter crash in Hawaii.

The tour helicopter spun out of control and crashed nose-first on a road in Kailua yesterday, about a 30-minute drive from Honolulu.

The chopper burst into flames, killing the two female passengers and the male pilot.

The wreckage of a helicopter lies on the street after crashing in Kailua, Hawaii. Picture: Bruce Asato/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP
The wreckage of a helicopter lies on the street after crashing in Kailua, Hawaii. Picture: Bruce Asato/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP

The passengers have not been formally identified but it is believed one of the women was from Australia, the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii told Hawaii News Now.

The pilot has been identified as 28-year-old Joseph Berridge, who moved to Hawaii just 20 days ago.

A portion of the tail section of a helicopter is shown after the crash. Picture: Bruce Asato/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP
A portion of the tail section of a helicopter is shown after the crash. Picture: Bruce Asato/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP

Oneawa St, where the crash occurred, remains closed as investigators examine the wreckage and try to work out what caused it.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the circumstances of the crash were unknown and no further details were available on those killed.

Witness, Melissa Solomon, was driving down the street when she looked up to see flames and a helicopter plummeting in front of her.

"All you could see was fire," she told AP.

She said she had turn onto another street because she was afraid more pieces were going to fall from the sky onto her and her 16-year-old daughter sitting in the front passenger seat.

"We could have been smashed by it," she said.

Paramedics responding to an unrelated call from a patient with leg pain about 27 meters away heard "a horrific bang," said Shayne Enright, a spokeswoman for Honolulu Emergency Medical Services. When they turned around, they saw a helicopter on fire.

"When they got there, neighbours were doing a heroic job trying to put out the fire and also trying to get the patients away from the burning aircraft," Enright said.

The helicopter, which was built in 2000, is registered to United Helicopter Leasing LLC of Honolulu, according to FAA records.

State Rep. Cynthia Thielen, who represents Kailua, said she wants the FAA to prohibit tour flights over Hawaii's residential areas and national parks.

The Republican politician wants Hawaii's congressional delegation to ask the FAA to implement such restrictions.

Thielen also called for tour helicopter flights to be grounded until an investigation into the crash is completed.

More to come.