Officials ID those involved in deadly helicopter crash at Grand Canyon

Officials ID those involved in deadly helicopter crash at Grand Canyon”

A tourist helicopter has crashed in Arizona's the Grand Canyon, killing three people and injuring four.

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.

First responders had difficulty reaching the four survivors, Bradley said, noting, "It is too windy and it's dark and the area is very rugged".

Another three, and the pilot, miraculously survived after spending the night in critical condition at the bottom of a mile-deep valley in a 50mph storm.

He said National Transportation Safety Board officials were expected at the crash scene to begin investigating the cause. "We are cooperating fully with NTSB investigators and local authorities". "Our top priority is the care and needs of our passengers and our staff", Papillon Group CEO Brenda Halvorson said Sunday. "We are in the recovery and investigation mode now", Mr Bradley said. The tribe also operates the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West, a horseshoe-shaped glass-bottomed projection with stunning, if vertigo-inducing, views of the canyon floor.

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Papillon offers helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon to tourists, marketing themselves as the World's Largest Aerial Sightseeing Company.

Photographer Teddy Fujimoto told he had flown to the Grand Canyon to take wedding pictures when he saw people rushing by.

The helicopter - owned by Papillon Airways, a sightseeing company that specializes in helicopter tours of the canyon - suffered "sustained substantial damage" in the 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.

Winds in the area picked up in the Saturday afternoon with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, but the cause of the crash is not immediately known. The pilot and five passengers - who were all from NY - died.

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