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A helicopter, or chopper, is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by rotors, This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forward, backward, and laterally. These attributes allow helicopters to be used in congested or isolated areas where fixed wing aircraft and many forms of VTOL (Vertical TakeOff and Landing) aircraft cannot perform. The English word helicopter is adapted from the French word hélicoptère, coined by Gustave Ponton D'Amecourt in 1861, which originates from Greek helix (ἕλιξ) "helix, spiral, whirl, convolution" and pteron (πτερόν) "wing". English language nicknames for helicopter include "chopper", "copter", "helo", "heli", and "whirlybird".

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Helicopters were developed and built during the first half-century of flight with the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 being the first operational helicopter in 1936. Some helicopters reached limited production, but it was not until 1942 that a helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky reached full scale production, with 131 aircraft built. Though most earlier designs used more than one main rotor, it is the single main rotor with anti-torque tail rotor configuration that has become the most common helicopter configuration. Tandem rotor helicopters are also in widespread use due to their greater payload capacity. Coaxial helicopters, tiltrotor aircraft and compound helicopters are all flying today. Quadcopter helicopters pioneered as early as 1907 in France and other types of multicopter have been developed for specialized applications such as unmanned drones.

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In Brazil a more popular method of transportation using Helicopters is sometimes used by the bride and groom on there wedding day. In December 2016, a 32-year-old nurse named Rosemeire Silva Nascimento wanted to surprise her fiancé Udirley Damascenoand and the 300 guests in attendance by arriving via helicopter. The ceremony was to take place at a popular venue in a very affluent neighborhood in Sao Paulo but disaster struck. Damasceno was patiently waiting at the altar when the chopper his bride was flying in crashed about one mile from the reception venue. The groom was left in a state of shock at the altar as he was told his bride had died including three other people who were inside the helicopter.

Rosemeire Silva Nascimento and fiancé Udirley Damascenoand in happier times.

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The victims of the crash, Rosemere do Nascimento Silva (L) and her brother Silvano Nascimento da Silva (R) two other people died. Please click on the image above for the full video of the incident, (Viewer discretion advised.)

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Wedding Photographer Nayla Cristina Neves Lousada, who filmed the moment the helicopter crashed, was six months pregnant.

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Pilot Peterson Pinheiro were also killed in the crash

The 32-year-old nurse was killed while wearing her wedding gown and veil and was very close to the grounds of Recanto Beija-Flor in Sao Laurenco da Serra, San Paulo, Brazil the planned landing spot. Wedding planner Carlos Eduardo Batista said: ‘I called the pastor who was officiating at the ceremony and he went with me to help break the awful news to the groom. He was shell-shocked and couldn’t speak as he tried to understand what had happened. He was heartbroken.’ As well as Rosemere, her brother Silvano, pregnant wedding photographer (Nayla Cristina Neves Lousada) and helicopter pilot Peterson Pinheiro were also killed in the crash. The Robinson R44 helicopter crashed in a forested area near the football field it was scheduled to land in. Sao Paulo Fire Department sent eight teams to the scene, although there were no survivors.

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Please click above image for news story on the accident - Honolulu, Hawaii — A tour helicopter burst into flames Monday morning 29th April 2019 after crashing nose-first onto a busy Kailua highway. Authorities believe three people were aboard the four-seat Robinson R44, all of whom were killed. According to Jessica Lani Rich, president of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, one passenger was from Australia and the other passenger was from Chicago, the pilot was a Hawaii resident. A section of Oneawa Street at the intersection of Kalolina Street remains closed. Police responded to a report of a helicopter crash at about 9:12 a.m. Monday. The aircraft described as a four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter operated by Novictor Helicopters plummeted in front of 745 Oneawa St. near Nowela Place.

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A "beloved" NSW great-grandmother is one of three people killed in a helicopter crash in Hawaii. All three people on board died including East Maitland woman Jan "Jammie" Burgess. Her family released a statement on Wednesday describing the loss of their "beloved" mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. "Jammie was on holidays with other family members when she was involved in this tragic incident," the family said. "We are all in pain at this time."

Jan "Jammie" Burgess was one of the victims.

Nicole Vandelaar, owner and chief pilot of Novictor, said, “This accident is heartbreaking for everyone, especially the families and friends of the passengers and pilot, who was part of our Novictor family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.” The safety and welfare of our personnel and passengers are our top priority. We are actively cooperating with the authorities to determine the cause of this accident, including working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in their investigation,” she said in an e-mailed statement. Vandelaar founded Novictor Helicopters in 2011.

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Once the NTSB completes their onsite investigation, the wreckage will be moved to a secure location where they will continue their investigation, according to NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss. Witnesses realized a tour helicopter that crashed on a Kailua road last month was in distress when they “heard an odd noise followed by a loud metallic bang," according to a preliminary NTSB report. The four-seat, Robinson R-44 helicopter took off from Honolulu’s airport at 8:54 a.m. April 29 and slammed onto a busy Kailua roadway less than 20 minutes later. The NTSB report said that after witnesses heard the loud noise from the chopper, they looked up to see the craft losing altitude quickly. Parts of the aircraft were spinning off, they said, and none of the rotor blades were moving. “Witnesses reported observing pieces falling from the helicopter which included: a piece of the main rotor blade, plexiglass, pieces of airframe, and a fuel tank,” the preliminary report said. What the report doesn’t include: Any conclusions about what NTSB investigators believe may have brought the helicopter down. The crash has ignited fierce debate about whether tour helicopters should be more strictly regulated, especially when they fly over residential areas. There are also questions about the safety record of older model Robinson R-44 helicopters.

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Please click the image above for a Helicopter Safety Video hosted by Nicole Vandelarr owner and chief pilot of Novictor

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Please click above image for a video on the Robinson R44 Cadet which Lands in Las Vegas for Heli-Expo 2018. Image Above - Red R44 Cadet with tinted windows - Manufactured by the Robinson Helicopter Company. The Robinson R44 is a four-seat light helicopter that has been in production since 1992, Based on the company's two-seat Robinson R22, the R44 features hydraulically assisted flight controls. It was first flown on 31 March 1990 and received FAA certification in December 1992, with the first delivery in February 1993. The R44 has been the world's best-selling general aviation (GA) helicopter every year since 1999. It is the most produced GA aircraft of the 21st century, with 5,805 deliveries from 2000–2017. During November 2015 Robinson announced the Cadet, a Raven I with a cargo area instead of the two back seats, a slightly less powerful engine and a more efficient muffler. The R44 is a single-engined helicopter with a semi-rigid two-bladed main rotor, a two-bladed tail rotor and a skid landing gear. It has an enclosed cabin with two rows of side-by-side seating for a pilot and three passengers. Tail rotor direction of rotation on the R44 is reversed compared to the R22 for improved yaw control authority. On the R44 the advancing blade is on the bottom.

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Please click on Image Above for a Will & Bailee Celebration video.  -  Bailee Ackerman Byler and Will Byler - On November 3rd 2018, a newlywed couple were killed in a helicopter crash shortly after leaving their wedding in Uvalde, TX. The newlywed couple, Will Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler, were both students at Sam Houston State University, according to the school’s student newspaper, The Houstonian. Will Byler was an Agriculture Engineering senior and Bailee Ackerman Byler was a Agriculture Communications senior. According to KBTX News, The happy couple were both members of the university’s rodeo team and had gotten engaged last year. Ackerman Byler was also a member of the Future Farmers of America.

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Please click above for Wedding reception for newlyweds who died in helicopter crash, - According to USA Today, Uvalde Police received a call from an aviation monitoring center at around midnight Saturday about a possible down aircraft north of Uvalde County. The Texas DPS troopers, Game Wardens, Border Patrol and the Uvalde Fire Department all aided police in the search for the aircraft. USA Today reveals the crash happened about 15 miles from where the helicopter took off. The helicopter was heading to San Antonio International Airport where the couple was to board a plane for their honeymoon. “It’s very rocky, rough terrain and this particular hill has a 400 or 500-foot rise,” Steven Kennedy, justice of the peace for Uvalde County, told USA Today.

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Please click on image above for a short video by Inside edition - According to Tampa Bay Times, NTSB officials said the helicopter was in the air for approximately 5 to 10 minutes before crashing. Craig Hatch, an air safety investigator for the NTSD, said the wreckage is across a hillside that rises above rugged terrain about 80 miles west of San Antonio. According to NBC News, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash. The helicopter pilot was identified as 76 year-old Gerald Douglas Lawrence. NBC News explains that the Bell 206B helicopter was registered to W.T. Byler Co. Inc. The helicopter was manufactured in 2005 and its current certification was issued in 2012 and due to expire in 2021.

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76 year-old pilot Gerald Douglas Lawrence also perished in the crash.

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Please click on Image above for a full review on the Bell 206 and also lessons on how to fly it. C-GTNK - Bell 206B JetRanger - TRK Helicopters

The Bell 206 is a family of two-bladed, single- and twin-engined helicopters, manufactured by Bell Helicopter at its Mirabel, Quebec plant. Originally developed as the Bell YOH-4 for the United States Army's Light Observation Helicopter programme, it was not selected by the Army. Bell redesigned the airframe and successfully marketed the aircraft commercially as the five-place Bell 206A JetRanger. The new design was eventually selected by the Army as the OH-58 Kiowa. Bell also developed a seven-place LongRanger, which was later offered with a twin-engined option as the TwinRanger, while Tridair Helicopters offers a similar conversion of the LongRanger called the Gemini ST. The ICAO--assigned model designation "B06" is used on flight plans for the JetRanger and LongRanger, and the designation "B06T" is used for the twin-engined TwinRangers.

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Will Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler at a Rodeo event - Please click on image for the  2019 American Rodeo Winners.

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Please click on above image for Cody Johnson - Dear Rodeo (Live Performance From The Houston Rodeo)

According to NBC News, Lawrence’s daughter, Devon de Samaniego, said that her father had been a helicopter pilot for 50 years. The last 16 years he was employed by W.T. Byler Co. Inc. “My father was the epitome of a professional when it comes to being a helicopter pilot,” De Samaniego told NBC News. Lawrence was close to the Byler family and was personally asked to fly the newlyweds off to their honeymoon, according to NBC News. The helicopter struck a rural hillside that shattered the aircraft and killed all three on board, Kennedy told CBS News. According to Fox News, an official in Uvalde County said that Lawrence served as a pilot during the Vietnam War. “The chopper, owned by Byler’s father, took off just hours after the couple got married at a ranch on Saturday night,” an official told Fox News. “It crashed into a rocky hillside roughly five to ten minutes after takeoff.”

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Prominent Pampanga businessman Liberato "Levy" P. Laus and two other men were killed in a helicopter crash in Barangay Anilao in Malolos, Bulacan on Thursday, April 25 2019. Laus and pilot Everette Coronel died on the spot, while Wilfran Esteban died at a local hospital. Laus, 68, was the chairman and CEO of the Laus Group of Companies, the largest multi-brand car dealership network in the country. The group also co-owns SunStar Pampanga. Laus was also the chairman emeritus of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry and former president of Clark Development Corporation, among others. He was also the owner of local television network CLTV36.

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CRASH SITE The wreckage of the helicopter, which crashed on Thursday and killed Liberato Laus, his driver-bodyguard and its pilot, lies on its side. - Lieutenant Colonel Emerey Abating, Anilao chief of police, said the ill-fated helicopter with body number RPC8098 crashed into a fishpond around 12:30 p.m. Thursday. An eyewitness identified as Jonald Borlongan, a resident of Barangay Anilao, said he noticed that the chopper was already malfunctioning while in the air, as it was seen exhausting thick smoke. Borlongan said that as it was about to take an emergency landing in the area, parts of the chopper, including its main rotor, started falling apart until it crashed into a fishpond. (After the crash, we rushed to check, but we cannot go near as it might explode. We then saw the two passengers; one of them had a wound in the head.)

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He added that upon checking the aircraft, they saw another passenger, who was later identified as Esteban. They immediately took him to the ground but Esteban started vomiting blood. Borlongan said an ambulance immediately came to the rescue but the two passengers were already declared dead on the spot, while Esteban still showed signs of life. Personnel of Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) started collecting the parts of the aircraft to conduct a thorough investigation. Caap Air Crash Investigator Harry Paradero said they have already factored out weather condition and possible overloading as cause of the crash. (Based on the helicopter's model, there was still room for other passengers, aside from the three. The weather condition is not also a factor, as the weather was fine Thursday, April 25.)

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He said they have yet to check the actual cause of the aircraft malfunction after they are able to re-assemble it. The Caap, in a statement, also said that the helicopter, which was owned by Laus, left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) general aviation area at 12:28 p.m. Thursday for San Fernando City in Pampanga. Laus's colleagues in the business community were shocked to learn about his untimely demise. Below is the official statement of the Laus Group of Companies:

It is with great sorrow that the Laus Family and LausGroup of Companies (LGC) announce the tragic loss of our patriarch and esteemed Chairman and CEO, Liberato "Levy" P. Laus. He was 68. Levy to family and friends, LPL to colleagues and associates, he was a visionary and leader who championed countryside development with such idealistic and vigorous zeal. He made and left an ingrained mark in the automotive industry as well as the lives of numerous partners he inspired and encouraged, family and friends he loved and cherished, and clients he served and helped.

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Image Above PAMPANGA. Businessman Liberato “Levy” P. Laus, chairman and chief executive officer of the LausGroup of Companies, was laid to rest at the Sanctuario De San Fernando Memorial Gardens on April 30, 2019. Photo shows Laus’s wife Tess, children Paul Tristan, Lissette, Carisa, Diorella, Levy Adrian, and other family members. (Chris Navarro)  - His untimely passing unfortunately came at a time when he was looking forward to greater things, not only for the LGC, but also for the whole province of Pampanga, especially his beloved city of San Fernando. He unfailingly demonstrated the exceptional values in business, integrity and compassion in all his work. His enthusiasm, quick wit and endless charm will inspire and stay with us always. He will be remembered for his love of and dedication to the LGC as a group of companies, as a brand, as a family. He will be greatly missed. We request that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made and donated to the Levy P. Laus Foundation, Inc.
(SunStar Pampanga/SunStar Philippines)

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Please Click image above for a news story from NBC4NY - New York: A helicopter crashed onto the fog-shrouded roof of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper on Monday, June 10, 2019 killing at least one person thought to be the pilot. The crash occurred shortly before 2pm (10pm UAE) on a rainy, gray day atop the 229 metre AXA Equitable Centre at 787 Seventh Avenue, a few blocks north of Times Square. Dozens of emergency vehicles swarmed the area, shutting down traffic and evacuating offices in one of the city’s busiest areas. The person killed is “presumed” to be the pilot, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. No injuries, either to people in the building or on the ground, have been reported. “The helicopter is pretty obliterated at this point. It was obviously a very hard hit,” de Blasio said during the briefing.

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Please click image above for video - Image Above - New York Governor. Andrew Cuomo walks near the scene where a helicopter crashed on top of a building in midtown Manhattan June 10, 2019, in New York. He said the cause was unknown but that there was no indication the crash was an “act of terrorism.” It was not clear if limited visibility due to the weather was a contributing factor. Nicolas Estevez was standing across the street from the building when a 30cm piece of metal that appeared to be from the helicopter landed on the pavement just feet away. The crash sent people streaming out of the building within seconds. “I saw the explosion and the smoke coming out,” Estevez said. The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the aircraft was an Agusta A109E, a twin-engine, lightweight helicopter. The pilot was the only person aboard, and FAA air traffic controllers did not handle the flight, according to the agency.

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Please click image above for 2014 interview with Tim McCormack. Image Above - Onlookers take pictures on 7th Avenue after a helicopter crash-landed on top of a building in midtown Manhattan in New York on June 10, 2019. 

Photographer: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images - The chopper took off from a heliport on Manhattan’s east side at 1:32pm and crash-landed on the building 11 minutes later, causing a fire that was quickly extinguished by responding firefighters, officials said. The site is about half a mile from Trump Tower, where US President Donald Trump maintains an apartment. The area has been under a temporary flight restriction since his election in November 2016. The pilot would have required permission from air control at La Guardia Airport in New York, and investigators are trying to determine if the pilot was in contact with the tower there or at any other airport, de Blasio said. Nathan Hutton, who works in information technology for the French bank BNP Paribas on the 29th floor, said the building shook when the helicopter slammed into the roof.

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“It felt like you were just standing there, and someone takes their hand and just shoves you,” he said. “You felt it through the whole building.”
Trump called New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was at the scene soon after the crash, to offer assistance if needed, the governor’s office said.
“Phenomenal job by our GREAT First Responders who are currently on the scene,” Trump said on Twitter after being briefed on the crash. “The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all.” Cuomo told reporters shortly after the incident that there was no indication of terrorism. The AXA Equitable Centre was built in 1985 and includes more than 50 floors. In addition to BNP Paribas, the building houses offices for a number of other corporate tenants, including law firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Sidley Austin and investment manager New Mountain Capital. Le Bernardin, one of New York City’s most celebrated restaurants, is also located in the AXA building.

Image Above - Tim McCormack helicopter pilot that died - Please click image for pilots final moments caught on video.

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Please click image above for a special CNN report. Image Above - The helicopter crash caused a fire on top of the AXA Equitable Center and a lot of debris and twisted metal. The skyscraper is managed by the Los Angeles-based Common Wealth Partners. Reached by telephone, LeAnn Holsapple, the office manager for Common Wealth, said the company had “no comment at this time.” Manhattan has three heliports in operation. Rooftop helipads were banned in New York City in 1977 after a rotor blade snapped on a helicopter on the top of the former Pan Am building, killing five people. Helicopters are a regular sight in the air around Manhattan, and they have occasionally been involved in crashes.

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Aftermath of Deadly Helicopter Accident on the Roof of the Pan Am Building (Met Life Building), New York City, 1977 - For one sickening moment on May 16, 1977, the crowded streets around Grand Central Terminal became a war zone. Chunks of steel and razor-sharp shards of glass whirled in a deadly downpour at Madison Avenue and 43rd Street, hurled there by a chopper that had collapsed on a landing pad atop the Pan Am Building. Five people were killed and eight were injured as the New York Airways helicopter keeled over on a broken landing gear, snapping off a rotor blade that became a deadly missile to anyone in its way. Four people on the rooftop died – three instantly – and one woman on the ground was fatally struck by a chunk of the missile that finally came to rest 59 stories and one block away in the middle of the evening rush hour. Bits of bodies mangled by the flying debris were scattered in sickening disarray. “The blades hit them and everything went everywhere – backs, legs, heads,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Frank McLoughlin.

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New York Airways helicopter that fell over while idling atop the Pan Am Building in New York City 1977. It was a nightmarish end to a decade-long controversy over rooftop helicopter service at what has since become the MetLife Building. And for one spectator to the ghastly carnage, it was war all over again. D-Day vet Tom Clarke, walking six inches away from 29-year-old accountant Anne Barnecott, remembered hearing a “thud” at 5:30 p.m. Then screams. “She screamed and fell to the ground,” he said. “I heard another woman crying, ‘Help me! Help me! She was bleeding pretty badly from her arm and a leg. … I half carried, half dragged her into a doorway. I could tell I wouldn’t be able to help the woman who screamed.” Clarke began doing what the war had taught him. “I had to keep [the survivor] talking to keep her from going into shock,” he said. “That’s when you lose them. She kept saying, ‘I’m gonna die.’ I said, ‘No, you’re too pretty to die. You’re gonna be all right.’ She took it like a soldier. I’ll tell you, she stayed right with me.”

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Please click image above for THE SKYLINE ROUTE - New York Airways , Helicopters over Manhattan 3420 “Everybody on the street stood silently looking at the woman, thinking, ‘This could have been me,'” said the Rev. William Shelly of St. Agnes Church, who was one of the hundreds of pedestrians who watched in horror as the young Bronx woman crumbled to the ground. One passenger who had just debarked from the chopper, journalist Paul Vante, speculated that had he “stayed on this copter another two minutes, I would probably have been dead.” Firefighters, ambulance drivers and paramedics had to lug their rescue gear up the last nine flights of the office tower when elevators abruptly stopped at the 50th floor. Nearby, on Vanderbilt Avenue at 44th Street, a Long Island resident was sitting in his car when the skies rained debris. “I looked up. All I could see was garbage, debris, blue pieces of paper, glass and stone falling,” he said. “People were running everywhere for cover.” Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board discovered the problem with the chopper was its landing-gear fitting, possibly caused by metal fatigue.

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A Wanaka family linked for generations with flying are mourning a second son lost to a tragic helicopter crash in three months. Pilot Nick Wallis died with his passengers – two Department of Conservation (DOC) staff – on Thursday 18 October 2018 in a heartachingly similar crash to the one that killed his brother Matt in July. The trio left Wanaka Airport about 10.51am. They were headed north to carry out tahr control in the Haast area on the West Coast. For reasons still unknown, the Hughes 500 helicopter crashed into farmland just north of the airport, near Stevenson Rd, and burst into flames. Emergency services were notified about 11am. No-one survived.  

Image Above - Nick Wallis

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(The Himalayan Tahr Control Plan is a statutory document made under section 5(1)(d) of the Wild Animal Control Act 1977. It enables DOC to undertake official control to reduce tahr numbers when recreational, guided hunting and commercial hunting have not been able to keep tahr below the maximum number allowed.) Only three months ago Nick Wallis gave a heart-rending eulogy at his brother Matt's funeral, saying it "physically hurts to know your life has been cut short". Matt Wallis, 39, died when his Robinson 44 helicopter crashed into Lake Wanaka, near Stevensons Island, on July 21. He too had left Wanaka Airport, and was on a short solo flight to Mt Aspiring National Park. His body was retrieved two days later. The Wanaka aviation community and DOC are said to be devastated after the latest crash.  The Wallis men are the sons of aviation pioneer and Warbirds Over Wanaka air show founder Sir Tim Wallis and his wife, Lady Prue Wallis. Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust chairman John Gilks called the crashes a "dreadful, double tragedy". "It's really almost unbelievable that it's happened so soon after Matt's tragic death.

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Image above - The crash victims were (from left) Nick Wallis, Scott Theobald, and Paul Hondelink. Click image above for a First insight into what caused helicopter crashes that killed Wallis brothers (RNZ) "To think that this has happened at all, within three months, I feel incredibly sorry for the whole Wallis family ... no family deserves that."
Nick Wallis, 38, was a "wonderful guy" and his death would be a "blow to the whole community". "He was a gentleman and he was a man's man. He had a great sense of humour, just a nice guy to be around," Gilks said. "They're such a well-known family and they have contributed so much to Wanaka and this region over many years, starting with Sir Tim and followed on by the four boys.
"This is going to be a bitter blow, a major blow and I'm sure there won't be very many people in Wanaka who don't feel exactly how I feel about it today."
DOC director general Lou Sanson said the tahr control operation had been put on hold. Sanson was devastated by the news and knew all involved.

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Image Above - The new helicopter has Nick Wallis's initials for its registration. A former DOC worker who has flown with Nick Wallis on many occasions said it was a brand new Hughes 500 helicopter that was super safe. "It will be really interesting to find out what has happened here. I can't believe it would a pilot error as Nick was super experienced and a really talented pilot." "DoC staff go out everyday working on our behalf on our environment, sometimes in really dangerous situations and this is an absolute tragedy," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The tahr control operation, which aimed to cull 10,000  wild goats over the next eight months, had been put on hold while DoC focused on the tragedy. In a media statement, the New Zealand Deerstalkers' Association said it "deeply regrets the tragic loss of life" following today's crash. Former NZDA President Bill O'Leary said the accident and loss of lives was a great tragedy. "All our members, indeed hunters everywhere, will join in expressing their deepest sympathy to the families of those lost." 

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Please click image for the track Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen. - Family and friends carried Nick Wallis to the waiting helicopter while Bruce Springsteen's Glory Days played. An eye witness told the Herald that the crashed helicopter has "burnt right out." "There's nothing left of it. Unbelievable." He said the helicopter had crashed on DoC land alongside a private property. "You can't get within a kilometre of it." The Wallis family have owned and operated Alpine Helicopters Hanger - now known as Alpine Helicopters and Minaret Station - in Wanaka for 55 years. Alpine Helicopters' website describes Nick as the youngest of the Wallis brothers. He had 3000 flying hours under his belt and was also a licensed helicopter engineer. The brothers' father, Sir Tim Wallis, was well-known as a pioneer of the live deer recovery industry in New Zealand and the founder of the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow. Sir Tim had survived 15 air crashes with the last one, in 1996 in a World War II-era Spitfire ending his solo flying career and nearly his life.

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Almost 2000 people attended the funeral of Nick Wallis at Wanaka Airport. In 1964, Sir Tim bought his first helicopter and crashed while learning to fly the following year. The first life-changing crash was in 1968. He was rescuing stock near Queenstown, after a snow storm, and flew his Hiller chopper into power lines.
He injured his spine and wasn't expected to walk again - but did, with the help of a caliper on his left leg. In 1989, with fuel problems, he crashed in a forced landing at Waipukurau. Another crash followed during a landing in 1992 at Blenheim. But it was in a different Spitfire in 1996 that Wallis nearly died while taking off at Wanaka.  It was a flight in preparation for that year's Warbirds over Wanaka, the hugely popular airshow he had founded in 1988.

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Please click image above for a video by the Brother of helicopter pilot who gives  an emotional tribute. Wallis, 38, was well-known in the aviation and tourism industries.Photo supplied by family.

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Witness 3 days of extraordinary flying at the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow on a 9 Day Coach Tour with Kirra Tours.

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Helicopter Display Warbirds Over Wanaka

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15 Day Warbirds over Wanaka tour

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Image Above - Buchon ME-109 alongside a Spitfire from Warbirds Over Wanaka 2016.

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Warbirds over Wanaka

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Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow

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Harvard's formation flying at Warbirds over Wanaka, New Zealand

T-6 Texans in formation, known as the Harvard in the British Commonwealth, at Warbirds over Wanaka 2016, New Zealand

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Warbirds Over Wanaka 2012 Action Scenes - Warbirds Over Wanaka is operated by a charitable Community Trust. Their vision is to 'Aspire to be the best Warbirds Airshow in the World. To educate through the celebration and promotion of aviation past and present.' 

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Warbirds Over Wanaka is a biennial air show in Wanaka, held on the Easter weekend of even-numbered years since 1988. It is held at Wanaka Airport, 10 km south-east of Wanaka, in the southern South Island of New Zealand. Initially conceived by New Zealand live deer recovery pioneer, Sir Tim Wallis, as a display day for him to play with his collection of World War II aircraft, the show has grown into a major institution. Roads are closed and traffic is detoured around the area during the weekend. Hotels, motels and backpackers around Wanaka are usually booked well in advance (two years ahead). Accommodation is impossible to find if one does not have a booking.

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Whether you are a pilot, aviation enthusiast or a family wanting a great day's entertainment, the unique airshow, set in stunning mountain scenery, will create memories that last a lifetime. 

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A Yak-3M which has appeared at Warbirds Over Wanaka. (photo credit: Gavin Conroy via Warbirds Over Wanaka)

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The RNZAF Black Falcons aerobatic team will perform at Warbirds over Wanaka from 30 March to 1 April. Photo: Gavin Conroy.

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8 DAYS WARBIRDS SOUTH ISLAND ESCAPE 2020 - Nick Wallis article continued:  The helicopter was fitted with an early door-latch style changed in later models, and the report noted three incidents in which one of the helicopter doors had opened in flight were "known to have occurred in the month prior to the accident". "None of these occurrences was notified. "It is important for an effective safety management system that such incidents are reported and addressed," the report said. The helicopter took off at 10.53am with the cabin containing two 20-litre plastic jet fuel containers, four rifles, four boxes of ammunition, tools and other items, as well as the occupants. Less than a minute later witnesses saw it "conducting" odd manoeuvres, the report said.

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Air to Air - Photo Credit Ian Brodie - "Several witnesses recalled seeing the helicopter descending near vertically, with items trailing behind it, and the helicopter rotating at various angles." Two instructors in a Robinson helicopter "saw items coming out of the helicopter towards the tail rotor". "The instructors described the helicopter starting to rotate and descend. "Moments later they saw the tail section separate from the helicopter in flight. "They saw the helicopter rotating in an upright attitude until it struck the ground. "The helicopter caught fire after impact." While there was evidence of "mast bumping" in the crash of the Robinson R44 helicopter piloted by Matt Wallis, the TAIC stopped short of suggesting it was the cause of the crash.

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Air to Air - Photo Credit Ian Brodie - The interim report said the "teeter stops" for both blades were crushed, which indicated mast bumping "at some point in the accident sequence". The main rotor blade had also struck and entered the cabin. Mast bump is contact between an inner part of a main rotor mechanism and the main rotor drive shaft. Mr Wallis was heading across Lake Wanaka to Minaret Lodge, with a flight-tracking system reporting every three minutes. The last report was made at 1.03pm, when the helicopter was near Stevensons Island at about 152m above the lake. At 12.58pm Mr Wallis had made a cellphone call, the connection ending at 1.04pm

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Air to Air - Photo Credit Ian Brodie - "The person who received the call was not aware that the pilot was flying at the time, and nothing in the call or the manner of the call termination caused them any concern." Further inquiries will include a more detailed examination of the altimeter, telecommunications and flight tracking, and weather conditions. The TAIC has previously expressed concern about the number of accidents in New Zealand in which Robinson helicopters had experienced mast bumping, and some organisations now do not use them.

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Air to Air - Photo Credit Ian Brodie

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Image Above - Sir Ian Wallis founder of the Wanaka Air Show.

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Image Above - Matt Wallis

Their brother, Jonathan Wallis, managing director of the Alpine Group, said yesterday the "apparent characteristics of an in-flight breakup" of the Robinson helicopter were "disturbing" and the "unexplained door separation in flight" of the Hughes 369D was "equally of concern". "Since that accident in October we have been made aware of numerous incidents of doors opening in flight on the same aircraft make and model." A pair of over-trousers and a door latch appear to be the main areas of interest to investigators of the crash of the Hughes helicopter piloted by Nick Wallis. The report said the first items found in the "wreckage trail" were a pair of over-trousers and a pair of overalls "that had been inside of the cabin". "These were found close to the separated tail section, along with two pieces of the tail rotor blades and the tip of one of the main rotor blades. There were "strong" indications the over-trousers had come out of the helicopter and became "entangled" with the tail rotor.

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Jason Hill 32 was killed alongside his brother, Stuart, and Becky Dobson

Stuart Hill, 30, and girlfriend Becky Dobson, 27

A fatal helicopter crash left two brothers so badly burned investigators mistakenly identified their remains, an autopsy report has revealed. Stuart and Jason Hill, 30 and 32, suffered burns to 100% of their bodies after the Airbus EC130 B4 plummeted into a ball of fire shortly before sunset at the Grand Canyon on February 10th 2018. The pair had been sitting together in the aircraft before the crash which killed five Britons in the Arizona tourist attraction.

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Please click above image for a news report - Six million years in the making, the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most stunning geological wonders. Measuring 18 miles wide, 1 mile deep and 277 miles long, the canyon is insanely huge, breathtakingly gorgeous, and, without doubt, guaranteed to impress. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, the canyon is America’s second most-visited National Park, attracting over 4.5 million visitors each year – half a million of whom visit on an air tour. With extraordinary rock layers, cascading colors, and sweeping panoramic views, it’s no wonder the Grand Canyon is one of the largest helicopter sightseeing destinations in the world. To help you discover, choose, and save money on the best Grand Canyon helicopter tours from Las Vegas, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to pick the best experience.

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The Grand Canyon is simply stunning and a very popular tourist attraction, views from the Colorado River from an helicopter tour at Grand Canyon South Rim - "After the remains were returned to England, DNA testing established the identity of these remains as being those of Stuart Andrew Hill", reads one autopsy from Mohave County medical examiner's office. Both reports described the brothers' remains as being so badly burned that neither man was "identifiable by physical features". The parents of the pair described them as "inseparable" and said they would be "deeply missed by so many, many people". The brothers were originally from Worthing, West Sussex, and were on holiday in the US to celebrate Mr Hill's 30th birthday with a trip to Las Vegas, and perished alongside Stuart's 27-year-old girlfriend Becky Dobson.
Their friends, honeymooning newlyweds Ellie Milward, from West Sussex, and Jonathan Udall, originally from Southampton, also died in the accident.
The crash also critically injured a sixth passenger, 39-year-old Jennifer Barham.

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Honeymooning newlyweds Jonathan Udall, originally from Southampton and Ellie Milward, from West Sussex,

39-year-old Jennifer Barham. Jennifer is a lawyer and was the girlfriend of Jason Hill who was also a lawyer.

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Las Vegas rates itself as the top entertainment Capital of the World, The brothers and there friends were celebrating Stuarts 30th birthday. The parents of Mr Udall are suing the tour operator in a wrongful death lawsuit. According to the lawsuit the couple could have survived if Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters and manufacturer Airbus Helicopters had not negligently failed to install a crash-resistant fuel tank. They are also suing pilot Scott Booth, who was in a critical condition, accusing him of negligence for crashing.

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Theses helicopters are a frequent sight above the Grand Canyon system, A Papillon Helicopters EC130 B4 conducts a tour flight outside of Page, Arizona.

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EC-130 setting off on a Grand Canyon helicopter tour.

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The crash-resistant systems have fuel tanks that expand, rather than rupture, on impact and self-sealing components to keep fuel from spreading. They are meant to prevent aircraft from catching fire and lessen the chance that people on board get burned. Airbus officials said the company now builds helicopters with the new fuel systems and supports operators who chose to retrofit their Airbus aircraft with them. Papillon Airways CEO Brenda Halvorson has said it is "misguided" for attorneys to make allegations about the accident before the National Transportation Safety Board finishes its investigation.

Pilot Scott Booth, who was in a critical condition, survived but both his legs had to be amputated,

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Jason Hill’s girlfriend, Jennifer Barham, survived the crash but suffered life-changing injuries and was in a critical condition but has now recovered even though she will always be affected by the terrible accident. The crash could of been prevented an inquest has heard, James Healy-Pratt, representing the parents of a group of friends who died after the Airbus helicopter plummeted to the ground and caught fire, made the claim at West Sussex coroner’s court during a pre-inquest review. Honeymooning newly weds Jonathan Udall 31 and 29 year old Eleanor or Ellie Milward died some time later in hospital of there injuries. Healy-Pratt claimed there was “insufficient regulatory action” by authorities in Europe and the US but manufacturers, operators and owners had also not done enough to warn people of the dangers. He added: “There’s no rule that forces helicopters to retro-fit safer fuel tanks and that is something the families have very serious concerns with.” Jonathan Udall’s parents have already launched a wrongful death lawsuit against the tour operator and manufacturer, claiming their son would have survived if crash-resistant fuel systems (CRFS) had been installed. They are also suing Booth for negligence in a separate lawsuit. Airbus previously said it was increasing the number of aircraft built with CRFS. A full report and inquest has been undertaken.

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A witness standing close to the crash site managed to take photo's and video the inferno, Staggeringly a woman emerges from the mangled wreckage and begins to make her escape on foot, She is heard screaming out the name "Jason." Jennifer Barham was the girlfriend of Jason Hill 32 and it is most probably her. After a rescue operation hampered by strong winds and rough terrain, the brothers friends Ellie Milward, 29, Jonathan Udall, 32, and Jennifer Barham, 39, and the pilot, Scott Booth, 42, were airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Jason worked as a solicitor and Stuart worked as a car salesman. They both lived very successful lives. We were so proud of them. We are so lucky to have had our boys for 30 years. We are so heartbroken say the parents. 

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An image from the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) report shows the helicopter crashed near its planned landing siteCredit: NTSB
Quartermaster Canyon is a valley (a side canyon) in the Grand Canyon west of Grand Canyon National Park, in the Hualapai Indian Reservation in U.S. state of Arizona. The canyon's namesake is Quartermaster, a member of the Hualapai tribe who settled there in the early 20th century. Quartermaster Canyon is a popular destination for Grand Canyon helicopter tours. In the year 2013, 385 helicopter tours landed near Quartermaster Canyon, raising questions from National Geographic over sustainability.

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Becky Dobson’s father, Peter, said his daughter was “full of life and looking forward to going to Vegas for her boyfriend’s 30th birthday to celebrate”.
“They just went for a long weekend, a four-night break,” he said. “They were staying in Vegas, they had been looking forward to it for a long time.” The couple lived together in Worthing, West Sussex. “They were really happy together. They were always going out and doing things, just enjoyed being with each other. The whole thing is just terrible.”

Eleanor Milward Udall, 29, died of her injuries a few days after her husband Jonathan Udall died. Aviation lawyer Gary Robb added that the spins would have been caused by some kind of tail rotor malfunction which may have been triggered by either a technical problem, a crash into the wall of the canyon - or a loss of control by the pilot. Airbus Helicopters, the manufacturers who made the EC130 helicopter involved in the tragic crash, have paid out a record-breaking $100 million to the victim of a helicopter crash for failing to install a crash-resistant fuel system in that aircraft. Dave Repsher who was left with burns on more than 90 percent of his body following a "similar" crash in Frisno, Colorado in 2015 was awarded the compensation.

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A witness said he saw flames and black smoke spewing from the crash site, heard explosions and saw victims who were bleeding and badly burned. Teddy Fujimoto, a Las Vegas photographer who was doing a wedding shoot near the crash site, said he suddenly saw people running toward the edge of a ravine. He said he heard gasps and went to see what was happening about 600ft (183 metres) below. “In the gulch there was a helicopter, flames, smoke,” he said. “It was horrible.” He said that was when two or three small explosions went off in the wreckage and people were not sure what to do. He said some other pilots flying helicopters in the area at the time of the crash descended into the ravine and delivered water and first-aid supplies.

Stuart and Jason Hill had an exceptionally close platonic and understanding brotherly bond. Stuart (L) Jason (R) Jason was a solicitor at Shoosmiths Solicitors and was about to become a partner. A law graduate from the University of Southampton, he qualified from The College of Law in Guildford. His girlfriend Jennifer Barham, 39,  is a partner at the law firm Bircham Dyson Bell and survived the crash.

Fujimoto said he saw two badly injured women and one of them was yelling out a man’s name. He said one of them “was pretty much burned all over.”
“Her hands were bloody and body was just more burned,” Fujimoto said.
The other woman, he said, was “covered in blood” and was bleeding from her head or neck. The survivors were stuck in the deep gauge for nine hours while they waited for emergency crews to battle through a 50mph storm. Saturday's crash was Papillon's fourth fatal accident in 20 years, claiming a total of ten lives since 1999. Papillon's EC-130 helicopter lacks a system to keep it from exploding on impact, denying passengers a few extra minutes to try to escape. The tragedy happened moments after a minister had married a British couple from London on a bluff about 1,000 yards away from the crash scene, with members of the wedding party rushing to help.

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On Saturday, the nurse anesthetist was on her own helicopter ride that was stopped near Quartermaster Canyon when a ghastly noise of whirring helicopter blades and an explosion ripped through the silence of this beautiful setting. As soon as we got to the edge of the cliff, we could just see the smoke billowing up,” Kineally said, as reported by Las Vegas Now. Instinctively, Kineally slid down the rocky terrain and ran towards the fiery wreckage to offer any assistance she could. “The other gentleman was just screaming. It was echoing throughout the canyon. It was just horrific,” Kineally said. As the day marched on, bystanders threw clothing down to keep the crash victims warm, as Kineally administered IV’s and helped first responders treat the gravely injured group of British tourists. “I had an EMT standing over with a flashlight because I couldn’t see anything, and I did it mostly by feel because she needed more fluid, she was getting really shocky,”

Best of friends, Left to Right - Jonathan Udell with Ellie Milward and Becky Dobson with Stuart Hill, are pictured together in happier times.

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Nurse Katie Kineally was enjoying another helicopter sightseeing tour in the Grand Canyon with her family to celebrate her mother's 90th birthday. Ms Kineally, front left, from Oregon, pictured with her daughter and son in front of a helicopter they took to see the Grand Canyon on Saturday 10th February 2018 just before the fatal accident. Kineally explained. As rescue teams figured out a way to evacuate the victims from the inaccessible crash site, Kineally realized that they were running out of pain medication. “They were so brave because there were times when we had to say, ‘we don’t have any more pain medication right now. We’re going to just have to have you focus and breathe for me, breath for me, hold my hand, keep talking to me,’ and you know, that was probably the hardest part,” she explained. Conrad Fish, 19, from the UK, was also one of the first on the scene. “They were all in a very bad way – they had wounds all over their bodies,” he said, “Adrenaline kicked in and all I did was help carry equipment down and help the fire brigade down. The real heroes were the doctors that kept the survivors alive.”

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Becky Dobson tragically lost her life when the chopper came down in the Grand Canyon

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Ellie Milward and Jonathan Udell celebrate on there wedding day

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Newlywed couple Ellie Milward and Jonathan Udall (pictured on their wedding day)

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A tourist looks out over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. 

South Rim is by far the most popular section of the Grand Canyon and often considered the “true Grand Canyon", featuring vast and expansive views of the canyon, typical of the photos you come across in magazines and on TV. South Rim is easily accessible from Las Vegas and is popular among tourists not only for its views, but a plethora of visitor services available at the South Rim Visitor Center.

From Vegas: ~270 miles via US-93 S and I-40 E

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Here is a small list of some of the attractions you will find located on the South Rim, This restored Bucky O'Neill Cabin was built during the 1890's by William Owen "Buckey" O'Neil, He built the cabin because of a copper deposit that was nearby. He had several occupations such as miner, judge, politician, author and tour guide. This cabin is the longest continually standing structure on the South Rim. It is currently used as a guest house; booking is required well in advance.

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The El Tovar Hotel was built in 1905 and is the most luxurious lodging on the South Rim. The hotel consists of 4 stories with a rustic chalet appearance called "National Park Rustic." It was designed by Charles Whittlesley. A gift shop and restaurant are located inside the hotel.

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Hopi House was built by Mary Jane Colter in 1905. It is based on structures that were built in an ancient Hopi settlement called Old Oraibi, located on the Third Mesa in eastern Arizona. It served as a residence for the Hopi Indians who sold arts and crafts to South Rim visitors.

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Grand Canyon Railway passengers gather at the Williams Depot, preparing to board for a ride to the South Rim. The railway was completed in 1910 and contains 2 levels. Gordon Chappell, Regional Historian for the Park Service, claims that this depot building is one of only three log-cabin-style train stations currently standing, out of fourteen ever built in the U.S. The depot is the northern terminus of the Grand Canyon Railway which begins in Williams, Arizona.

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Desert View Watchtower one of Mary Colter's best-known works, was built in 1932. Situated at the far eastern end of the South Rim, 27 miles (43 km) from Grand Canyon Village, the tower stands 70 feet (21 m) tall. The top of the tower is 7,522 feet (2,293 m) above sea level, the highest point on the South Rim. It offers one of the few full views of the bottom of the canyon and the Colorado River. It was designed to mimic Ancestral Puebloans (Ancient Native American Culture) watchtowers, though, with four levels, it is significantly taller than historical towers.

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A dramatic sunset over the Grand Canyon's North Rim, 

The North Rim is the Grand Canyon escape people look for when they wish to get away from the crowds and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing outing. Owing to its higher elevation (1000 feet higher than the South Rim), Grand Canyon North Rim is 10 degrees cooler than the South Rim and supports a large number of plant and animal life. You shouldn't be surprised if you visit the North Rim and come across a family of deer or get lost in the tunes of the Canyon Wren's songs.

From Vegas: ~280 miles via I-15 N

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Please click above image for a Grand Canyon Skywalk First Person View - Groups of people standing atop the Skywalk West Rime Bridge with Grand Canyon scenery behind them. 

The West Rim is the most accessible area of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. Due to its proximity, it is the second most visited area after South Rim. Grand Canyon West is owned and operated by the Hualapai Native American Tribe, the West Rim has become increasingly popular among visitors with its 2007 opening of the Skywalk, a cantilevered glass-bottomed bridge that juts out 70 feet from the canyon’s rim, giving guests the chance to stand 4,000 feet in the air.

From Vegas: ~120 miles via US-93 S

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East Rim Sunrise, Grand Canyon - 

The East Rim is the most difficult area of the canyon to access. Located to the north and east of the South Rim, the East Rim lies outside the Grand Canyon National Park region. The walls of East Rim are primarily formed by the Little Colorado River and the region is known for landmarks such as Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Marble Canyon, Navajo Bridge and the Rainbow Bridge.

From Vegas: ~320 miles via I-40 E

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Image Above -Desert View East Rim View From Moran Point -  If you're visiting Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, then West Rim and the South Rim are your closest options. Both the East and North Rims will be way further and harder to get to. In terms of annual visitors, more people flock the canyon’s South Rim than its West Rim. While both areas are beautiful and full of incredible sights and activities, the South Rim is known for its quintessential Grand Canyon views and stellar day hikes. The West Rim, however, is the preferred destination for those looking to enjoy a helicopter tour. It’s also the closest option for visitors traveling from Las Vegas. In addition, the West Rim is the only section of the Grand Canyon where you can land at the bottom via helicopter, thus making it the only rim where the canyon floor can be visited as part of a day trip.

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To experience the Grand Canyon to the fullest you might try a boat or bus tour instead. If you land by helicopter on the West rim section you can continue by boat or bus to maximize your experience.

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The Grand Canyon Railway runs twice daily to the South Rim. The 65 mile journey takes 2 hours and 15 min each way and provides expansive views of the Colorado Plateau. There are several classes of travel ranging from non air conditioned coach to luxury parlor car. 

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