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February 11, 2018
Source: Internal Release
Early reports of a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon on Saturday, February 10, 2017 give rise to questions surrounding the accident. Three people died and four were critically injured when an EC–30 operated by Papillon Airways went down in the Grand Canyon near Quartermaster Canyon. This is a popular sightseeing tourism area from the air. Military aircraft from Nellis Air Force Base assisted in the rescue of surviving passengers, however responders were confronted with difficult rescue conditions given the rocky terrain, lack of sun light and winds gusting at 50 MPH. Given these variables, rescuers were unable to transport survivors for almost 8 hours after the helicopter went down.
With 50 mile an hour winds roaring through the Grand Canyon, why did the helicopter depart for the sightseeing tour in the first place? This is an awful tragedy which likely could have been avoided. Lives have been lost and others critically injured. The Arizona Department of Public Safety reported that one of the two rescue helicopters had to be grounded from rescue efforts due to strong winds. The helicopter tour pilot employed by Papillon saw fit to transport tourists in these conditions, but it was deemed too dangerous for rescue helicopters?
The Law firm of Benson & Bingham is investigating the helicopter crash in Peach Springs, Arizona near the Grand Canyon that took off from Boulder City, Nevada. The Eurocopter operated by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters went down in heavy winds, suspecting pilot error could be a primary cause of the accident. 50 mph winds suggest that the helicopter was operating in extreme conditions for a pleasure ride that should not have departed. Certainly a faulty component of the helicopter could be to blame necessitating a lawsuit against Eurocopter’s manufacturer, Airbus EC-130, a French company based in Marignane, France with annual revenues of $6.3 billion.
This is a stark reminder of the 2001 deadly helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon operated by Papillon in which the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation ruled the crash was the result of pilot error. Joseph L. Benson II, Esq’s father, now retired, was an Air Force pilot and represented the last victims of the Papillon accident in 2001.
The Las Vegas based law firm of Benson & Bingham is keeping a close eye on the investigation which currently notes the cause of the crash as “unknown circumstances”. However, given the weather conditions, the writing is on the wall. Victims and their families are urged to contact Joseph L. Benson directly at 702-779-0801.