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October 16, 2003 The NPS S & R Helicopter crashed

The Grand Canyon National Park helicopter - contracted from Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters - was involved in a non-injury crash two miles north of the park boundary. The McDonnell Douglas 900 Explorer (No Tail Rotor/NOTAR) helicopter had just completed a reconnaissance flight of the Poplar Fire Complex on the North Rim and was en route to a landing zone on the North District of the Kaibab National Forest when the aircraft experienced a loss of control on final approach. The ship rolled onto its left side upon landing. The aircraft was severely damaged.


The pilot, M. Bordon Miller, has 25 years experience (10,000 hours) including 7.5 years contracted by the National Park Service. The others on board were Russ Truman (District Fire Management Officer, Kaibab NF); Mark Murray (Helicopter Manager, Grand Canyon NP); Lynn Emerick (Poplar Fire Incident Commander, Grand Canyon NP); and Mark McCutcheon (Acting North Rim Unit Manager, Grand Canyon NP). All occupants were taken to Kane County Hospital in Kanab, Utah, for evaluation.


"We are extremely relieved that no one was apparently injured in this incident," stated Grand Canyon Superintendent Joe Alston. Grand Canyon National Park Management and Aviation staff members are working with the US Forest Service and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department to ensure site safety and integrity. Department of the Interior, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, and Federal Aviation Administration investigators are expected to arrive at the crash site Friday.




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