Helicopter Crashes in Ariz., 7 Hurt
Apr. 19, 2000
TUSAYAN, Ariz. (AP) _ A tour helicopter crashed shortly after taking off Tuesday south of Grand Canyon National Park, injuring six German passengers and the pilot, authorities said.
None of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening. Four of the victims were in fair condition and two were in good condition with various back, leg and pelvic injuries, said Keli Openshaw, spokeswoman for Flagstaff Medical Center. Another victim was treated and released.
The Bell 206 Long Ranger helicopter lost power after rising about 300 feet off the ground and came down on airport property, authorities said. Witnesses said it skidded about 50 feet on its belly, leaving a wide skid mark and bending the main rotor.
It was operated by Kenai Helicopters, which operates out of a heliport near the canyon's South Rim. Phone calls to officials with Kenai Helicopters were not returned.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig said the 18-year-old helicopter had one prior accident, in 1992, when the helicopter's tailrotor hit the ground at a Hawaiian airport. Herwig said there were injuries, but he had no other details.
On the Net: Federal Aviation Administration: http://www.faa.gov