Three tourists and the pilot were killed when a Tropical Helicopters Hughes 500 experienced engine trouble and crashed onto the site of a recent lava flow. The helicopter burst into flames upon impact.
The victims' names were not released yesterday, pending notification of family members.
This was the first fatal tour helicopter crash in the state in three years. Seven people died in July 2000 when a Blue Hawaiian Helicopters aircraft crashed into the side of 'Iao Valley on Maui.