Bell 206B JetRanger, Waialeale, Kauai, Hawaii, July 23, 2003–The NTSB said that in the Jack Harter Helicopters air tour crash inside a mountainous crater the pilot failed to maintain adequate terrain clearance/altitude while descending over mountainous terrain, and he continued flight into adverse weather. Factors contributing to the accident were clouds and a low ceiling.
Radar data showed that during the final few seconds of flight, the pilot maneuvered over the area, and the helicopter’s groundspeed decreased from about 100 to five knots. Within the last 14 seconds of flight, the helicopter started a descent, which increased in vertical speed to 2,000 fpm. It hit the interior wall of the crater and tumbled downslope, destroying the helicopter and killing all five aboard.