ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45778
Last updated: 31 October 2014
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.
Date:10-AUG-2001
Time:14:28 MST
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter AS 350B2
Owner/operator:Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters Inc
Registration: N169PA
C/n / msn: 2477
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 7
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:4 miles E of Meadview, Arizona -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Grand Canyon West, Arizona (GCW)
Destination airport:McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, NV (LAS/KLAS)
Narrative:
On August 10, 2001, at about 14:28 mountain standard time (MST), a Eurocopter AS350-B2 helicopter, N169PA, operating as callsign "Papillon 34", collided with terrain during an uncontrolled descent about 4 miles east of Meadview, Arizona. The helicopter was operated by Papillon Grand Canyon Airways, Inc., as an air tour flight.

The helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. The pilot and five passengers were killed, and the remaining passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight originated from the company terminal at the McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, Nevada, about 12:45 MST as a tour of the west Grand Canyon area with a planned stop at a landing site in Quartermaster Canyon.

The helicopter departed the landing site about 14:00 MST and stopped at a company fueling facility at the Grand Canyon West Airport (GCW). The helicopter departed the fueling facility at 14:20 MST and was en route to Las Vegas when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed.

CAUSE: the pilot's in-flight decision to maneuver the helicopter in a flight regime, and in a high density altitude environment, in which the aircraft's performance capability was marginal, resulting in a high rate of descent from which recovery was not possible. Factors contributing to the accident were high density altitude and the pilot's decision to maneuver the helicopter in proximity to precipitous terrain, which effectively limited any remedial options available.

Sources:
1. NTSB: http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20010820X01734&ntsbno=LAX01MA272&akey=1
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=169PA
3. http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/ref/collection/feddocs/id/224
4. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=11468
5. http://coptercrazy.brinkster.net/search/se350show.asp?start=1451&count=50
6. http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/aviation-international-news/2008-03-20/factual-report-air-tour-helo-hits-mountain
7. http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/19727-papillon-ship-down-grand-canyon-38-million-settlement.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
10-Jul-2014 00:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
Number of views: 704

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description