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Deadly Grand Canyon copter crash likely caused by wind

Posted at 1:11 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 15:11:42-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in the Grand Canyon in 2018, killing five British tourists, says he lost control of the aircraft after a “violent gust of wind” sent it spinning.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued its final report Thursday. Investigators found that tailwinds, potential downdrafts and turbulence were the probable cause of the crash on the Hualapai reservation outside the national park. The board found no evidence of pilot error or mechanical problems with the aircraft.

The pilot and one passenger suffered severe burns but survived the fiery crash.