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-   -   EC 130 down at the Grand Canyon (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/605275-ec-130-down-grand-canyon.html)

LRP 11th Feb 2018 02:32

EC 130 down at the Grand Canyon
 
Looks bad, RIP.

12news.com | 3 dead, 4 injured in Grand Canyon helicopter crash, police say


A FAA employee said Eurocopter EC130 crashed under unknown circumstances in the Grand Canyon Saturday night.
Author: 12 News
Published: 10:07 PM MST February 10, 2018
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - A helicopter carrying at least seven people crashed in the Grand Canyon Saturday evening.

Hualapai Police Department said three people have died and four more are injured.

Allen Kenitzer with the Federal Aviation Administration Officer of Communications said Eurocopter EC130 crashed under unknown circumstances in the Grand Canyon.

Hualapai Police Chief Francis Bradley said the helicopter, likely used for a tour, was from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The crash happened just before 5:30 p.m. Saturday, 60 miles northwest of Peach Springs.

A reporter from NBC affiliate KSNV

UPDATE#2: Another image from wreckage of tour helicopter crash in Grand Canyon. Pic courtesy Teddy Fujimoto. @News3LV pic.twitter.com/oyuxxq9HoO

ó Gerard Ramalho (@GerardNews3LV) February 11, 2018

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DVugINtVAAA79FW.jpg

rotorbug 11th Feb 2018 06:42

EC-130 registration
 
1 Attachment(s)
Wondering if anyone knows the reg of the EC-130 that crashed.

I flew in a EC-130 based at Grand Canyon in 2015, Reg was N831GC.

ExGrunt 11th Feb 2018 07:47

Agreed,

Doesn’t look good - I just took my family on one of these trips earlier this year. I was surprised by how busy it was, with a dozen cabs in our group.

The arrangement was pilot+2 in front and 4 pax in the rear.
Just speculation, but looking at the numbers it may be the front end took the worst of the impact.

From the photo, it looks like it happened in the Canyon itself.

Condolences and prayers

EG

gulliBell 11th Feb 2018 07:52

Incredible that anybody survived that one...

Bell_ringer 11th Feb 2018 08:14

RIP.
Why do the American press first go and chat to lawyers that sue operators?
They quote history and immediately create a perception of safety issues.

Mee3 11th Feb 2018 08:44


Originally Posted by Bell_ringer (Post 10049203)
RIP.
Why do the American press first go and chat to lawyers that sue operators?
They quote history and immediately create a perception of safety issues.

that's how you spice up the reporting in a nation where news is a form of entertainment.

mickjoebill 11th Feb 2018 12:43

Video and eyewitness report.

Three killed in Grand Canyon helicopter crash

I sincerely hope that a very negative report in Trip Advisor (now being tweeted) by passengers, who complained that a recent flight had a maintenance issue, is unrelated to this incident.

Mjb

cncpc 11th Feb 2018 17:00


Originally Posted by gulliBell (Post 10049182)
Incredible that anybody survived that one...

It looks like an auto that almost made it. Not freefall, not out of control, unless that flat open spot is just a coincidence.

tigerfish 11th Feb 2018 17:57

Durban, I'm getting a bit rusty now on my Eurocopter's, but your picture looks more like the smaller EC120, than the EC130. Difficult because the image is a bit small.

TF

nomorehelosforme 11th Feb 2018 18:05

RIP

Tigerfish, can you get 7 people in a 120?

tigerfish 11th Feb 2018 18:30

No of course not. But at first glance on a small screen, the posted picture of the red helicopter at post 2, looked more like an EC120. Have since gone back and checked my own records, and I clearly mistook the lines. I used to work for the company and have flown in both types many times. However the inescapable facts are that this is clearly a real tragedy.
For me the EC130 was a great machine and the view from all seats, was superb. Unusual configuration as I recall, because it was flown from the LH front seat not the right. I was told that as the machine was intended for sight seeing work, the unusual configuration kept the collective away from passengers. As I said earlier its all a few years ago now!

TF

Rigga 11th Feb 2018 22:42

I did that Papillon trip in September (Also all British pax) and the whole organisation was well rehearsed, practiced and run. They had 130s and 355s, I flew in a 130. I even had a chat with the pilot who, although not very long in the trade, seemed well practiced in his routine.
To be honest, they only followed a pre-set route and there was so much traffic there, only a mechanical failure would force one of them out of the route and that would be obvious to other flights.
I don't know if FDRs were installed but my flight was trialing a passenger/flight video system for sale to us punters - if that recording survived it may prove useful.
Last heard there was only one survivor
R.I.P.

bvgs 12th Feb 2018 06:56

Very Professional Outfit
 
Flew up to the Grand Canyon when on holiday from Scotland many years ago. Hired an R44 and flew from Arizona. On landing at the airfield and booking our ď quick tourĒ seeing we had flown in, they upgraded us to a full tour, really nice people. All passengers were weighed and given their seat configuration. All in all lovely people and very professional. RIP.

Heathrow Harry 12th Feb 2018 07:22

Britons killed in Grand Canyon helicopter crash named - BBC News

Three British tourists killed in a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon have been named by US police.

Becky Dobson, 27, Jason Hill, 32, and Stuart Hill, 30, died in Saturday's crash, the Hualapai Police said. Three other Britons and the pilot were injured when the helicopter, on a tour of the canyon, came down at about 17:20 local time (00:20 GMT) in Arizona.

It is not clear what caused the crash and eyewitnesses say rescue efforts have been hampered by high winds. Images have emerged showing flames and thick smoke rising from the boulder-strewn crash site.

Police said Britons Ellie Milward, 29, Jonathan Udall, 32, and Jennifer Barham, 39, were injured in the crash, along with pilot Scott Booth, 42.

They were rescued at 02:00 local time on Sunday and flown to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, a statement said.
Gabby Hart, a local news reporter for the station KSNV, said it took nine hours for the survivors to be removed from the site because of the terrain and high winds.
She told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We are told by witnesses and also by rescuers that people trying to help once they saw this accident happen, they couldn't get down to the helicopter quick enough.

"They [the survivors] had to receive care there on site until emergency crews were able to remove them from the scene." The chief of the local Hualapai Police, Francis Bradley, called the incident "very tragic". He added: "Yesterday, we were hampered by severe weather conditions [and] we had gusts up to 50mph [80kmph]." He said the terrain around the crash site was also "extremely rugged".

Support and sympathy


In a statement, Brenda Halvorson, the chief executive of the helicopter company involved - Papillon Airways - said the company extended its heartfelt sympathy to the families of the dead and injured.

On its website, Papillon calls itself "the world's largest aerial sightseeing company" and says it flies more than 600,000 people a year.
The Grand Canyon, which is more than 1.6km (one mile) deep, is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the US.

A UK Foreign Office spokesperson said: "We are providing support to the families of six British visitors involved in a helicopter accident at the Grand Canyon on 10 February, and we are in close contact with the US emergency services."

[email protected] 12th Feb 2018 08:53

Perhaps when a company flying so many tourists per year over such inhospitable terrain should have their own rescue capability to deal with the conditions.

The police chief said on TV that they (the authorities) didn't have the specialist crews available to do night SAR - perhaps that will be revisited at some point.

Heathrow Harry 12th Feb 2018 09:32

Night SAR in the Grand Canyon........ another accident waiting to happen I'd have thought

Anyway it seems the pilot has survived so there will be an explanation sooner rather than later

chopper2004 12th Feb 2018 10:21


Originally Posted by Mee3 (Post 10049229)
that's how you spice up the reporting in a nation where news is a form of entertainment.

Hmmm well itís heading this way over here with the likes of certain tabloids like the Fail. I do not want to read about this accident in that rag because it wonít exactly be gospel plus the readers comments can be atrocious (talk about banning flying as itís dangerous letís ban Helicopters etc etc blah blah ) apart from the usual sincere responses

RIP to victims and speedy recovery for the injured ....does not come at a good time as Heli Expo is in Vegas in a fortnight.

ATB

Cheers

[email protected] 12th Feb 2018 10:52


Night SAR in the Grand Canyon........ another accident waiting to happen I'd have thought
Apart from the brown-out dust conditions for landing, nothing special - big terrain and low light levels but nothing to prevent SAR there - certainly better than having to wait for daylight to be extracted, they were there for 8 or 9 hours.

RIP for those that didn't make it and condolences to those who did and lost family or friends - very tragic.

rotorspeed 12th Feb 2018 14:30

Very tragic indeed, RIP.

Bit surprising they operate as late, given this accident happened at sunset, so with no night SAR it doesn't leave much time for rescue if anything goes wrong.

And if the winds were so strong to hamper rescue, presumably they were pretty strong when the 130 crashed.

Gordy 12th Feb 2018 16:43


Originally Posted by [email protected] (Post 10050393)
Perhaps when a company flying so many tourists per year over such inhospitable terrain should have their own rescue capability to deal with the conditions.

The police chief said on TV that they (the authorities) didn't have the specialist crews available to do night SAR - perhaps that will be revisited at some point.

There is a rescue helicopter in the Grand Canyon, I believe staffed by Papillon. They do not however operate at night as per DOI rules.

[email protected] 12th Feb 2018 17:01

So, as rotorspeed says - it is a surprise that they operate so late that any rescue can't be completed in daylight.

chopper2004 12th Feb 2018 18:08


Originally Posted by Gordy (Post 10050818)
There is a rescue helicopter in the Grand Canyon, I believe staffed by Papillon. They do not however operate at night as per DOI rules.

Yep its a MD902 Explorer in black and yellow stripes though wonder if the 66th RQS out of Nellis may have provided assistance with a Pave Hawk?

cheers

henra 12th Feb 2018 18:46


Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry (Post 10050310)
He added: "Yesterday, we were hampered by severe weather conditions [and] we had gusts up to 50mph [80kmph]." He said the terrain around the crash site was also "extremely rugged".

Hmmm, 50 mph winds in such a rugged Mountain terrain at that elevation with a heavily loaded helicopter? (assuming the winds didn't just start immediately after the crash).
Are there any restrictions for wind speeds for scenic flights over the canyon?

Nubian 12th Feb 2018 18:57


Originally Posted by [email protected] (Post 10050837)
So, as rotorspeed says - it is a surprise that they operate so late that any rescue can't be completed in daylight.

From the pictures in the article, it seems a company 130 landed with some sort of medical aid, and it did not look as it was dark......

Rigga 12th Feb 2018 19:40

The police chief said the 1st responders took 20 mins to get there - so they didn't walk, and could not use wheels...

[email protected] 12th Feb 2018 21:08

Henra has a good point - if the conditions were so poor that the rescue could not be made by the company helicopter, why were they flying? There is something not quite straight with everyone's story.

The 10 o'clock news showed another helicopter landing people to give assistance so where was the brownout dust conditions and the 50 mph wind?

212man 12th Feb 2018 21:41


Originally Posted by [email protected] (Post 10051040)
Henra has a good point - if the conditions were so poor that the rescue could not be made by the company helicopter, why were they flying? There is something not quite straight with everyone's story.

The 10 o'clock news showed another helicopter landing people to give assistance so where was the brownout dust conditions and the 50 mph wind?

Surely you don't get brown out with 50 mph winds?

twinstar_ca 12th Feb 2018 23:51

Flew the canyon 2 years ago in may with a different operator... is very inhospitable when things go south... RIP to the deceased and speedy recovery to the survivors... :(:(

TylerMonkey 13th Feb 2018 00:21

AvSafety network lists this call sign.
This pic is an old archive photo off google , pilot unknown.

https://i62.servimg.com/u/f62/11/94/64/62/45460b10.jpg

Heliringer 13th Feb 2018 00:28


Originally Posted by [email protected];10051040[COLOR="Red"
]Henra has a good point - if the conditions were so poor that the rescue could not be made by the company helicopter, why were they flying? [/COLOR] There is something not quite straight with everyone's story.

The 10 o'clock news showed another helicopter landing people to give assistance so where was the brownout dust conditions and the 50 mph wind?

They were flying because in Tourism flying they fly everyday unless it is unflyable. The visitors are only there once normally so you have to take their money while you can. That is the commercial reality. Sad but true.

ChrisVJ 13th Feb 2018 00:29

We were in LV till that morning. We had five days of brilliant sunshine, light winds if any and temps from 21 to 25 deg C. Of course winds in desert 80 miles away might be very different.

We have done the "Night" tour of the strip by helicopter and it was very, very professional. Aircraft appeared to be in excellent condition.

Judging by the video just shown on TV here they were lucky anyone survived. Serious blaze from the machine.

ExGrunt 13th Feb 2018 03:57

NTSB press conference announced:

Media Advisory: NTSB Briefing on Grand Canyon Helicopter Crash
2/12/2018
​WASHINGTON (Feb. 12, 2018) — The NTSB will today hold an on-camera briefing followed by a telephone conference call on the Feb. 10, 2018, crash of a tour helicopter at the Grand Canyon.

WHEN:
1 p.m. Pacific time (on-camera briefing)
1:30 p.m. Pacific time (telephone conference)

WHERE:
City Hall, Boulder City, Nevada
401 California Avenue
Boulder City, Nevada 89005

WHO:
Stephen Stein, Investigator-in-Charge

DETAILS:
Teleconference number:
Toll free, USA: 888-500-6975
International: 719-325-2330
Conference ID: 5950992

jugofpropwash 13th Feb 2018 05:32

Apparently, different rules because the flight was on tribal lands:
Grand Canyon helicopter crashed on tribal land with fewer rules - Chicago Tribune

[email protected] 13th Feb 2018 08:48


Aviation attorney Gary C. Robb said potential factors were winds of 10 mph with gusts of 20 mph, pilot error, mechanical failure or pressure within the company to meet the demand for tours.
Has someone wheeled out another 'aviation expert' to make incorrect statements or is he referring to weather conditions at Vegas rather than in the canyon?

Is this a form of positive discrimination where 'special rules' or alleviation from current regulations are allowed simply because you are dealing with a native Indian reservation? If there is a safety case for limiting flying (curfew) in the rest of the canyon then it should apply to the reservation area as well.

Bell_ringer 13th Feb 2018 11:51


Aviation attorney Gary C. Robb...

Robb said the EC-130 helicopter flown Saturday generally lacks a system to keep it from exploding, denying passengers a few extra minutes to try to escape.
Why do they keep referring to this muppet in accidents?
Let's whip everyone up in a litigious frenzy shall we?

If the US is like other countries, national parks often have restrictions as they are protected areas so limitations for noise, for example, apply.
If it's private land and you're happy to swap some disturbance for money then why not?

[email protected] 13th Feb 2018 12:11


If it's private land and you're happy to swap some disturbance for money then why not?
That's fine, but there is the responsibility for the safety of the tourists who would, anywhere else in the Canyon, have regulated flights. Just because the reservation wants to make money, doesn't mean they can be exempt from sensible safety rules.

I suspect now that many tourists will stick to the more regulated areas for their tours.

Bell_ringer 13th Feb 2018 12:21


Originally Posted by [email protected] (Post 10051605)
That's fine, but there is the responsibility for the safety of the tourists who would, anywhere else in the Canyon, have regulated flights. Just because the reservation wants to make money, doesn't mean they can be exempt from sensible safety rules.

I suspect now that many tourists will stick to the more regulated areas for their tours.

Unless I am misunderstanding, in this instance, regulated means they restrict the number of flights and type of operations. It isn't necessarily an indication of more or less safe, just that the National park is more fussy to prevent the area being adversely affected by aircraft traffic.
I take it they probably license out the rights to fly in the area so this also has a bearing on cost to operators?

[email protected] 13th Feb 2018 13:52

As i understand it - flights elsewhere in the Canyon are regulated with strict curfew which would ensure safe return or rescue before dark. From what the media are saying, that doesn't apply to the Reservation area along with limits on landing in the Canyon.

Gordy 13th Feb 2018 16:26


Originally Posted by [email protected] (Post 10051605)
I suspect now that many tourists will stick to the more regulated areas for their tours.

I suspect most will not know the difference or even care.

Many moons ago when I flew tours in Hawaii, I met tourists who just wanted the cheapest flight they could get, and did not care about safety.

[email protected] 13th Feb 2018 18:23

I'm sure that is the case - right up to the point where they are involved in an accident:{Then the lawyers start circling.......


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