Paradise Helicopters Pilot, Matt Mannion, was flying a tour over Kīlauea at the start of its most recent eruption

The text below is excerpted from the an article in Hawaii News Now. Read the full article and watch the video here.

This pilot was at the right place at the right time to see Kilauea’s new eruption unfold

By Mark Carpenter
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 3:46 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 7:33 PM HST
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Matt Mannion has been flying helicopters for over 17 years and knows very well that when it comes to witnessing Kilauea’s magic, it’s all about perfect timing.

When Kilauea’s latest eruption started at Halemaumau Crater on Wednesday afternoon, Mannion was up in the air ― leading a Paradise Helicopters tour.

“I told the people before we left, I said a lot of stuff is gonna have to come together for us to get a view,” Mannion said. “We’re gonna have to have good weather. We’re gonna have to have no flight restriction over the top and be able to fly over the top of it and sure enough, everything worked out.”

Visitors on the tour suspected earlier earthquakes could lead to something, but didn’t expect to have front row seats to Halemaumau’s latest show.

“What was surprising to me is how much lava actually accumulated in about an hour,” Mannion said.

“We’re used to seeing a little bit of a slower flow of lava, but it really started to erupt quickly and it filled the whole crater floor in about an hour or so, which is pretty amazing.”

Read the full article and watch the video on Hawaii News Now here.

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