Seven injured as Grand Canyon tour helicopter makes hard landing

Pilot and six passengers taken to hospital for treatment

The Grand Canyon is a popular area for helicopter tours. AP
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A Grand Canyon tour helicopter made a hard landing at a Las Vegas-area airport, injuring seven, officials said on Wednesday.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the incident.

Local responders and the National Transportation Safety Board characterised the incident that occurred at about 4.30pm on Tuesday at Boulder City Municipal Airport as a “hard landing”, while the Federal Aviation Administration called it a crash while landing.

A photo posted on Facebook showed the red helicopter standing upright in a flat desert area. There were no reports of a fire.

The pilot and six passengers were taken to hospitals in Las Vegas and suburban Henderson for treatment of injuries that Boulder City spokeswoman Lisa LaPlante said were not life-threatening.

Grand Canyon — in pictures

The FAA said it is investigating, and the NTSB identified the operator of the Airbus Helicopters EC130 T2 as Las Vegas-based Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopter air tours.

Papillon representatives did not immediately respond on Wednesday to a telephone message.

FlightAware, an air traffic database, reported that the 25-minute flight originated at the Grand Canyon near Kingman, Arizona, and was headed for the Boulder City airport. Boulder City is a 30-minute drive from central Las Vegas.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said a preliminary report should be available within about three weeks.

Updated: December 28, 2022, 8:06 PM