Air-tour Crash Site Nearly Same as 2001 Crash
The fatal crash on September 20 of an American Eurocopter AStar operated by Las Vegas air-tour operator Sundance Helicopters killed all six of the rotorcraft’s passengers, as well as the helicopter’s pilot, Takashi Mezaki, 45. The single-turbine helicopter crashed and burst into flames in the Grand Canyon near Meadview, Ariz., about the same vicinity where another AStar–flown by Papillon Air Tours–crashed on Aug. 10, 2001, killing six people. That accident is still being investigated by the NTSB. The Sundance aircraft was headed for a nearby helipad. The accident marks the Canyon region’s worst air-tour accident since 1995, when all eight people aboard a Piper Navajo died while trying to return to Grand Canyon Airport.