Passenger Jumps from Helo in Apparent Suicide

 - April 2, 2007, 7:55 AM

A 25-year-old Illinois man jumped to his death from a Papillon Airways Bell 206L while in cruise flight over the Grand Canyon on June 10. According to Papillon, the passenger called on June 9 and requested a window seat on a tour flight. A window seat wasn’t available, so the passenger called back the next day (June 10) and was told that he could get a window seat. The pilot reported that she had not noticed anything strange about the passenger sitting beside her. Once they were over Whites Butte, the pilot realized that the passenger door was open, and the passenger appeared to be looking out toward the aft end of the helicopter. The pilot thought he was still buckled in and was just trying to see behind them. As she started to yell to him, he jumped from the helicopter, which was at 7,500 feet msl. There were three other passengers aboard.