Investigators hike to rugged tour crash site in Grand Canyon

  • Investigators hike to rugged tour crash site in Grand Canyon

Investigators hike to rugged tour crash site in Grand Canyon

Four survivors of a deadly tour helicopter crash onto the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon were being treated at a Nevada hospital while crews tackled hard terrain in a remote area to recover the bodies of three other people. The sightseeing flight was reportedly operated by Papillon Airways and took off from a facility in Las Vegas.

All of the passengers were British tourists - three couples and two brothers - and included a couple on their honeymoon and one person celebrating a 30th birthday.

Hill said the only information they had been provided was that his sons and Stuart's girlfriend, a veterinary receptionist from Worthing, had died.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been tasked with examining the cause of the crash that killed Hill, his brother and Dobson.

Landing pads sit upstream and downstream from where the copter owned by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters crashed Saturday, constantly ferrying people on and off aircraft.

The survivors were identified as pilot Scott Booth, 42, and passengers Ellie Milward, 29, Jonathon Udall, 32 and Jennifer Barham, 39.

Las Vegas photographer Teddy Fujimoto saw the crash first hand as he photographed a wedding.

"The two brothers loved each other and were very close, and so our misfortune is their support - because they went together, and I will thank God every day for them", said the Rev Hill.

Three other Britons are in a critical condition after surviving the crash.

Emergency crews had difficulty reaching the injured survivors due to windy, dark, and rugged conditions. The cause is now unknown, but a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the helicopter had sustained "heavy damage".

The family of other survivor Jon Udall today said the 32-year-old was alive in hospital following the crash.

Aviation attorney Gary C. Robb said potential factors were winds of 10 miles per hour (16 kph) with gusts of 20 miles per hour (32 kph), pilot error, mechanical failure or pressure within the company to meet the demand for tours. They had saved for a year to go, and it was a helicopter accident.

"They've improved their piloting qualifications as well as their maintenance over the last 10 years and as far as I know they've not had a crash since 2001", he said.

The Hualapai (WAHL'-uh-peye) Tribal Council says in a statement Monday night that its leaders and the Grand Canyon Resort Corp. are working with federal investigators to find out what happened in the crash Saturday.

Brenda Halvorson, the CEO of Papillon Group, said: "It is extreme sadness we extend our heartfelt sympathy ot the families involved in this accident".

"One of them was calling out a name".

The initial recommendation from March 2016 says the crash-resistant fuel system design is proven to "minimize the hazard of fuel fires to occupants following an otherwise survivable impact (crash landing), the fuel systems must incorporate design features of this section".