Sole Survivor of Helicopter Crash Gets $38 Million

 - January 10, 2007, 9:54 AM
Twenty-nine-year-old Chana Daskal, the sole survivor of an Aug. 10, 2001 Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters crash, will receive $38 million under a settlement. Besides losing her husband in the accident, Daskal suffered severe burns and had both legs amputated. Named defendants in the lawsuit were Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, American Eurocopter, Turbomeca, helicopter retailer Zuni and the estate of the pilot of the ill-fated Aerospatiale AS 350-B2. The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident to be the pilot’s “decision to rapidly maneuver the helicopter at a high-density altitude near steeply sloping terrain resulting in a high rate of descent from which recovery was not possible.” Apparently, this maneuver was common practice by the operator. According to the Safety Board, several of the operator’s tour pilots, including the accident pilot, nicknamed this maneuver the Thelma and Louise descent.