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Grand Canyon Tour


mdash156
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I have some family members that are traveling to the Grand Canyon in a couple of weeks. They would like to take a helicopter tour of the area. I am looking for suggestions of which tour companies to use. This is most likely the only trip they will ever make to the area so I am trying to help them get the most out of the experience.

 

Any assistance would be appreciated.

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I would never, ever get on a tour helicopter, nor would I let any member of my family get on one. The accident rate is atrocious, whether you're talking about the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, or Alaska. The FAA developed tour SFARs for a good reason, but they didn't lower the fatality rate very much. They're still killing customers with far to much regularity.

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Why are they killing customers? Because they use low-time pilots who want to impress the customers, either through ego or to get a better tip. Plus, the maintenance seems to be below par, and the working hours lead to pilot fatigue. Combine all these, and accidents will happen. There may well be more to it than just these, but these are what I see.

 

Ride all you want, but you won't get my butt in a tour helicopter under any circumstances.

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How come we are not hearing about these tour company crashes? I've heard of a few in Hawaii but none lately in the Canyon or elsewhere...

 

I've understood that tour companies will hire at about 1000 hours (except Hawaii) and that's the same as the minumums for the GOM....

 

Are these guys crashing from hotdogging or something?

 

Just curious....

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How come we are not hearing about these tour company crashes? I've heard of a few in Hawaii but none lately in the Canyon or elsewhere...

 

I've understood that tour companies will hire at about 1000 hours (except Hawaii) and that's the same as the minumums for the GOM....

 

Are these guys crashing from hotdogging or something?

 

Just curious....

 

According to the ntsb, seems like most of the crashes there are from fixed wing (?).

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How many hours for Hawaii?

 

Later.

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minnimums I have seen on job postings are between 2500 and 3000 Total w/ 500 turbine.... or something along those lines...

 

Nuts!

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Nuts!

 

 

A few years back I took the wife up with Sundance and their A star.....nice bird, good pilot, great flight. I would recommend them. Also you can get it cheaper on line than if you show up...

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If you're not hearing about the accidents, you're not paying attention. Go to the NTSB website, then the query page, and put in the appropriate state, helicopters, Part 135, Nonscheduled, and you will get a list of all the accidents. There were 13 fatalities in the Grand Canyon alone, along with a few pages of nonfatal accidents. The accidents have been well publicized in the newspapers, but then who reads newspapers? If it's not on Faux News, it didn't happen, at least in the opinion of many. The FAA didn't make SFARs for tour operators because nothing was happening.

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I sure dont...I guess we both got caught with our pants down cause you are claiming it is a horrible accident rate with no numbers and I am defending it with no numbers. I leave at this, I feel much safer flying my little tour than I ever would romping around in the gulf. My personal opinion

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I wouldn't feel that unsafe *flying* a tour, but I wouldn't get on one that someone else was flying. Out here in the Gulf, there isn't anything to hit, and cowboying is frowned upon, at least by the pilots. It's safe enough as long as you don't try to push weather, and that's a killer no matter where you do it.

 

As for accident rates, I have no exact information, but I do see that there are more accidents for tour operators. In the GoM, we're flying in excess of a quarter of a million hours/year. Unless the tour operators are getting close to half a million, then their rate is much higher. I just can't confirm the number of hours tour operators are flying.

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"If you're not hearing about the accidents, you're not paying attention. Go to the NTSB website, then the query page, and put in the appropriate state, helicopters, Part 135, Nonscheduled, and you will get a list of all the accidents. There were 13 fatalities in the Grand Canyon alone, along with a few pages of nonfatal accidents. The accidents have been well publicized in the newspapers, but then who reads newspapers? If it's not on Faux News, it didn't happen, at least in the opinion of many. The FAA didn't make SFARs for tour operators because nothing was happening."

 

OH boy what to say. Well lets see... I just ran your web search and only found two fatal crashes, both were A-stars from Vegas. The details are sad. How ever it was not in a area of the canyon regulated by the SFAR. If you fly a tour from the south rim you will never be "in" the canyon. You will get a safe enjoyable tour just like the 100,000's of people ever single year.

 

Its not your fault you just have bad info!

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"If you're not hearing about the accidents, you're not paying attention. Go to the NTSB website, then the query page, and put in the appropriate state, helicopters, Part 135, Nonscheduled, and you will get a list of all the accidents. There were 13 fatalities in the Grand Canyon alone, along with a few pages of nonfatal accidents. The accidents have been well publicized in the newspapers, but then who reads newspapers? If it's not on Faux News, it didn't happen, at least in the opinion of many. The FAA didn't make SFARs for tour operators because nothing was happening."

 

OH boy what to say. Well lets see... I just ran your web search and only found two fatal crashes, both were A-stars from Vegas. The details are sad. How ever it was not in a area of the canyon regulated by the SFAR. If you fly a tour from the south rim you will never be "in" the canyon. You will get a safe enjoyable tour just like the 100,000's of people ever single year.

 

Its not your fault you just have bad info!

 

 

Two fatal crashes but how many onboard were killed? There was one crash in 03 that killed 7 people in the Grand Canyon. NTSB Identification: LAX03MA292 . Another one crashed on it's way to the canyon in 01 killing all but one on board. NTSB Identification: LAX01MA272. That makes 13 fatalities in the last 5 years.

 

Now statistically speaking, I have to imagine that isn't that bad. I know, any death or crash is to much but reality is that it happens. Only two crashes in the last 5 years that resulted in fatalites. How many tours are flow every year? With all the tour companies I have to imagine in the tens of thousands if not more but I don't have any factual figures for those numbers.

 

What I do find disturbing a little is the prior to the 01 crash you have to go back 17 years for the next fatality. What happened the last 5 years? Is it just bad luck?

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