Hydraulic failure is the suspected cause for the "hard landing" of a Las Vegas-based sightseeing helicoptor near Grand Canyon that injured a Dutch tourist.
The Heli USA Airways helicopter, an Aerospatiale AS350-BA A-Star model, sustained damage to its landing skids and tail boom, described by some news agencies as a crash, but it appeared to be more of a hard landing. There was a pilot and six passengers on board.
A 37-year-old man from the Netherlands was treated for broken bones at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
The helicopter tour originated out of McCarran International Airport and takes patrons on a West Rim tour. The incident occurred at the Grand Canyon West airstrip.
Grand Canyon National Park rangers received a dispatch on the incident but after a followup with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Department, no help from GCNP personnel was needed.
The pilot who was killed in a single-engine plane crash near Cataract Canyon early last week has been identified as a 71-year-old Illinois man.
George Howard of Northbrook, Ill., had taken off from Bullhead City at 11 a.m., headed to Liberal, Kan., the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Howard was the only person on board the Beechcraft Bonanza A36 Turboprop and was dead when a National Park Service helicopter reached the scene shortly after noon on Sept. 8.
Shortly before the accident, Howard reported electrical problems in a transmission received by air-traffic controllers in Los Angeles. The National Park Service reported that a witness at Plateau Point said the plane appeared to be experiencing engine troubles.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.