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Helicopter over Grand Canyon - which company wont kill me ?

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Helicopter over Grand Canyon - which company wont kill me ?

Old 20th May 2008, 20:59
  #21 (permalink)  
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what's all this then????,

is this an ad for maverick ????????????????????

an opportunity to bag the other operators perhaps?????????????

this kind of crap has no place on this forum.
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Old 20th May 2008, 22:01
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SORRY IMABELL BUT MY VOTE IS WITH MAVERICK i flew with them they were good
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Old 21st May 2008, 06:08
  #23 (permalink)  
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I flew with Sundance in 2004 with some friends. Nice outfit, I even bought one of their hats.
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:41
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type into www.ntsb.gov
# LAX06CA003
# LAX 07LA281
# SEA08CA027

guess it's all in what you are looking for, isn't it now.
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Old 21st May 2008, 10:20
  #25 (permalink)  
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Read on, and save you the hassle and chance of that the numbers catch up with you!!


Seem to remember an aircraft , made and flown only by the UK/france, which was THE safest aircraft in the morning of july 25,2000, but was by sun-down THE most unsafe referred to pax-mile (or something) and ultimately grounded for good after nearly 30 years in service without a fatality! How many 747's have crashed in the same time, without being grounded?
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Old 21st May 2008, 10:56
  #26 (permalink)  
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Ive flown with Papillon (from Boulder city) and Sundance from the strip! Both were top notch and very enjoyable flights
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Old 21st May 2008, 12:27
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For a person who has been posting since 17 Feb 2006, it must appear that you either don't watch the forum often, or are blind when you do.

There is a gentleman who often scribes here, but not of late, who would be an excellent reference in matters 'Grand Canyon'. I follow his scribes with some reverence.

There have been at least a couple of threads on the subject (at least) since you were a newbie on PPRUNE.

I do suggest, have a good look about, peripheral awareness you know old boy, lack of it and you may die, or be kicked in the backside, as you deserve, until your bleeding bloody nose bleeds.
have a nice day.
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Old 27th Jan 2009, 11:17
  #28 (permalink)  
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Grand Canyon heli tour

I am hoping to visit the US later this year and would like to fly over the Grand Canyon by helicopter from Las Vegas. I was just wondering if anyone had any experience of this and who is a good operator and who (if any) to avoid and what tour would people recommend.


(appologies if I have put this in the wrong thread)
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Old 27th Jan 2009, 12:51
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You also need to see the canyon from the ground, south rim is easiest to get to and has the touristy things and also gives a great view. If you have time you should drive from Vegas (take the best part of a day but a few things to see on the way, Route 66 is part of it) and take a helicopter tour from Grand Canyon airport itself.
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Old 28th Jan 2009, 15:52
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A few years back I rode into the Grand Canyon valley floor in one of the larger heli tour operators from Las Vegas airport (I apologise for forgetting their name now).

About 4 or 5 helicopters from the same company took off in a convoy at the same time. The chopper in front of us was flown by an ex US-army veteran. He flew very low along the nap of the earth and scraped from cliff edge to edge.

I was in the last chopper in the convoy flown by a soft-spoken Latin-American gentleman who was obviously civilian trained. He flew all sectors at least 1000 ft AGL and did no low-G or wingovers or anything like that - just absolutely straight and level with no frills whatsoever.

Yet these two pilots worked for the same company and flew the same mission at the same time. I still have the whole thing on video and occasionally I review it and wonder whether the pax in the other chopper got sick or realised how many close calls they had that afternoon.
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Old 28th Jan 2009, 16:11
  #31 (permalink)  
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I still have the whole thing on video
Excellent, now upload it for us to see

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Old 28th Jan 2009, 16:20
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Does anyone operate the S-55QT 'Whisperjet' jobber, Grand Canyon-wise?
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Old 28th Jan 2009, 19:09
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I took a helicopter from Las Vegas once that actually lands in the canyon. You go for a short hike and then have lunch on the canyon floor before flying back to LV. Can't remember the name though it was a great time.
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Old 28th Jan 2009, 19:59
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I did extensive research to answer the original question, it seems that all companies conducting Grand Canyon tours, from Grand Canyon and from Las Vegas haved pretty good records. All companies that I checked on have actually carried more tourists that they did not kill than ones that they did kill. Probably safer to do the flight than the drive up to the Canyon!
Keep in mind that this was not a scientific research project, but I do think the results were extreemly accurate.

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Old 29th Jan 2009, 02:52
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Davy07, the video is too long to upload and so I won't bother.

It may have been the same company our mod (weasil) took by the sounds of it.
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Old 29th Jan 2009, 06:09
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Another vote for Maverick. I flew with them a few years ago and it was a very pleasant flight. Great pilots, both personable and skilled. Excellent safety and nice ships. Would definitely recommend.

I actually became good friends with the pilot I flew with and I am at the school I'm at now because of him. He's a great guy and superb pilot now flying EMS in Des Moines, IA.
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Old 29th Jan 2009, 09:07
  #37 (permalink)  
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... and another vote !

... for Maverick that is, or rather Maverick AirStar Helicopters - all very professsional when I flew with them ( as PAX ) in 2001 ...

But whatever you do, if you should book a room overnight at one of the motels near the Grand Canyon Airport DO NOT leave your passport in the room after checking out, and then not realise until you have ridden for 250 miles on your rented Harley, broken down with a snapped throttle cable, done a gash running repair and limped into the Harley shop at Flagstaff, and then have to ride all the way back to collect said document !

Totally agree about taking photographs, evening prior to / at sunset is best - the harsh mid-day sunlight, especially from the air will give washed out pictures like this :

The trip is well worthwhile - the vastness of the canyon is awesome -
crossing over the rim the altimeter went from 500 feet to a mile

Last edited by Coconutty; 29th Jan 2009 at 09:07. Reason: Typo's
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Old 29th Jan 2009, 13:54
  #38 (permalink)  
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Yes, first light or last light is best for photographs at the canyon. If possible, bring a tripod and a remote release.
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Old 30th Jan 2009, 05:43
  #39 (permalink)  
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Hi All.
Firstly, i am one of the pilots that fly to the Canyon on a daily basis, secondly, i am a Brit so i see and hear the differences between the styles of flying between the two sides of the pond.
In regards to companies, go online and read up on them all, EACH ONE has either had and accident or incident at sometime.
I fly for Sundance and i could preach and sing my companies praises and i will if you ask me directly, but i'm not here to advertise for them.
I'm sorry to say this but the main question that started this thread is a bulls@*t question. If you are that conserned about dying, then stay on the ground.
Anyone who has done their homework will see that the last fatal accident was 51/2 years ago and the one prior was 71/2 years ago. Tours have been flown to the Canyon for close to 25 years and just Sundance alone flies over 18000 trips a year, thats a hell of alot of safe flights to one fatality and there are 4 other companies as well.
Sundance and Maverick have cameras onboard their aircraft that are used to make DVDs of the tours for the guests and as i can't speak for Maverick i can tell you that Sundance watches the trips on a regular basis to check quality of the tours but mainly to see how each pilot is flying and are they keeping to the tour routes and company standards. If not, that pilot will be let go... no 2 weeks notice or finish out the week..... gone that day.
There are no thrill rides out here in the Canyon... you might be on a flight with a pilot that throws the aircraft around and thats great to you but he/she will be spotted by one of the other 20+ aircraft that fly out at the same time and it will be reported or recorded. If you want one of those rides then you'll have to go to the top of the Stratosphere and you have 3 to choose from.

Sorry to sound a bit punchy on this subject but this is my job and i love what i do and topics like this aren't what i want to see or hear from in this industry regardless of what side of the pond it is on.
The styles of flying and aviation rules on either side are very different and even though i have never flown in the UK i have sat in one of the safety meetings at Red Hill and listen to the way things are done over there. You guys have a ton of rules and alot different to us over here.
For those interested, you will have 20+ helicopters flying the canyon at any one time... this includes decents and departures to and from the bottom and this is EVERY hour. There is NO tower in the Canyon and it is all monitered by the pilots at set reporting points and altitudes.
There is nothing i have seen or heard of in the UK or Europe that can compare to this level of aircraft activity condensed in to a corridoor that is just under a mile wide (edge of Colorado River to the Canyon wall), 15 miles long with an altitude change of 3500' in a space of 4 miles.
Regardless of who they fly for, all the boys and girls that fly in the Canyon are safety orientated. No one wants to crash, they all give good tours and want to keep their jobs.
Please come over and see us, you won't be disappointed regardless of who you fly with (prefer it to be me). It is an eye opener to see how the other half do things and if you fly let me know and i'll try and hook you up in the co-pilots plug and you'll get a first hand look at what we have to do and why we enjoy it .
Fly safe.
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Old 30th Jan 2009, 20:03
  #40 (permalink)  
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I guess since my name is on this I can prepare for a some flack. I flew for a couple of the companies up through 2008. About 7 years mostly part time, Im still alive. Yes there have been a few accidents, but if you check the stats you will find you have a better chance of hitting the Mega Bucks slot than getting hurt there.

Four main Companies left, Heli-USA, Papillon, Sundance, and Maverick. In looking around I think I would opt for Maverick and no, I did not work for them. Also if your going to be in Vegas look for some discounts or coupons. Nobody should get spanked for the fees they all charge. All have websites for further info.

For those who frequent the Just Helos forum you will always see morons from the companies bad mouthing each other, it goes with the territory when most of these kids are fresh off the training tit from their robbies. Just about all the pilots use tour jobs as a stepping stone or first turbine transition. The rest live in Las Vegas and like the work or the area and have done other things in their lives. It now becomes good Beer money.

Enjoy Vegas try and save a few dollars, if you have any questions My PM works. And Yes I live in Vega$.
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