The helicopter was found about 9:30 a.m. Friday in a mountainous area on the east side of the island of Kauai, authorities said. A pilot and six passengers, including two children, were on board.
Authorities said in a news release that they were sending additional resources to search for survivors.
Kauai Fire Department Battalion Chief Sol Kanoho said “no actionable information on the status of the passengers” was available during a news conference Friday afternoon.
The U.S. Coast Guard had resumed its search for the tour helicopter more than 12 hours after it vanished during a flight over the nearly uninhabited island.The helicopter had been due to arrive back at Kauai’s Na Pali coast at 5:21 p.m. local time on Thursday but never made it back. Authorities last made contact with the chopper around 4:40 p.m. when the pilot reported the tour was leaving the Waimea Canyon area, Hawaii News Now reported.The Coast Guard initially sent an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew and a cutter but found no sign of the aircraft.The weather conditions in the area were considered challenging, the local news outlet reported.
The department’s Air 1 helicopter was also conducting an aerial search of the area to look for debris or any other evidence.
Neves said the debris field was relatively small — about 50 feet by 50 feet.
Around noon on Thursday, Amanda Eller’s Toyota RAV4 was found in a parking lot of the Makawao Forest Reserve in Maui County, officials said. According to a “Findamanda” Facebook page, authorities who found the car did not yet know that Eller was missing.
Eller’s family believes she may have gone running in the national forest, because her teal sneakers were missing, while her wallet and cellphone remained inside.
“Amanda may have gone running, it was her day off and this is a common place for her,” a missing poster for the 35-year-old stated. “It is also normal that she would leave her cell behind. Her car key was found hidden under the driver’s side front tire.”