At about 10:20 Hawaiian standard time, an Aerospatiale AS 355F1 helicopter struck mountains about nine miles west of Kahului. The pilot of the Part 135 sightseeing flight and its six passengers were killed. The impact site was 2,850 feet up the north face of a 2,900-foot mountain, with a slope estimated in excess of 60 degrees. Three other tour helicopter pilots from the same operator said they had flown within 2 miles south of the accident site in the half hour before the crash. Those pilots told investigators they modified their tour routes to exclude the area flown by the accident pilot because of the inclement weather conditions they observed.