Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters of Las Vegas Friday August 10, 2001
The sightseeing helicopter crashed and burned about 3,700 feet up the 5,600-foot Grand Wash Cliffs just outside the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. The aircraft was returning to McCarran International Airport where it had originated. Besides the pilot, all victims, including the one survivor, were members of the same family. The pilot's decision to maneuver the helicopter in a flight regime and in a high density altitude environment which significantly decreased the helicopter's performance capabilities, 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 remedial options available.