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Wrongful death suit in Grand Canyon Helicopter Crash

A helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon ended with 3 fatalities and 4 critically injured on February 10, 2018.  Weeks later, 2 of the survivors died due to their injuries from the crash.  Now, the helicopter company, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, has multiple lawsuits filed against them.  The lawsuits are for wrongful death of the 5 victims whose life ended after this catastrophic helicopter crash.  One of the lawsuits filed claims the company neglected to provide its helicopters with a crash-resistant fuel system.  If they had, at least two of the people on the helicopter would have survived the tragic accident.  The suits could essentially go for gross negligence, but, that is yet to be determined.    

Allegedly the helicopter spun out of control into the canyon due to a faulty tail rotor along with an inexperienced pilot and failed weather checks. The helicopter spun to the left multiple times rotating each time a full 360 degrees.  It was also about 300 feet away from where it was supposed to be landing.   


What is in the lawsuit?

The suit is not only blaming the helicopter company, but also Airbus Helicopters, Papillon president, Geoffrey Edlun, Papillon directors, Elling and Brenda Halvorson, and Scott Booth, the pilot.     

Helicopter companies have regulations that require them to be equipped with a crash-resistant fuel system.  This was put into place in 1994 by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).  The systems fuel tanks expand on impact and have self-sealing components to keep fuel from spreading. This prevents aircraft from catching on fire and lessens the chance of people on board getting burned.  Since the FAA created the regulations, it appears that only about 15 percent of helicopters have this fuel system due to loopholes that the manufactures found and use to avoid the cost of installing the safer system.  

The victim’s attorney, Gary Robb, stated “There is no possible excuse for any helicopter not to have this simple but utterly effective technology, no excuse. None,” Robb said. “If any helicopter executive spent five minutes with any of these burn victims, I guarantee every helicopter in their fleet would have it.”

Papillon has stated that it will equip all its helicopters with crash-resistant fueling systems starting in April 2018.  Learn more about the incident here.


What should you do if you or a loved one have been injured in a Helicopter Crash

Contact an experienced aviation lawyer.  Attorney James S. Walker has dedicated his life to fighting on behalf of over 25,000 clients. He has witnessed first hand the peace that comes with justice. Attorney James S. Walker is a personal injury lawyer located in Houston, Texas. Inside Houston Magazine ranks Attorney Walker as one of the top lawyers in Houston. His firm, Walker and Hunter P.C. has been voted Law Firm of the Year.

A graduate of Michigan State University with a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, Attorney Walker, or “Walker Texas Lawyer,” as he is sometimes known. He will aggressively fight to get you the compensation you deserve.  If you or a loved one have been injured in an aviation accident, contact Walker Texas Lawyer now.


These large-scale tragedies often involve multiple defendants. These include the National Transportation Safety Board, independent investigators, commercial airlines and manufacturers. Air crash litigation has multiple layers of state, federal and international law make these cases extremely challenging to take on. The legal team at Walker and Hunter, P.C. will aggressively represent you and defend your rights as a victim. Don’t be a victim twice by attempting to deal with this on your own. Contact Walker Texas Lawyer.


Although you may hear more about commercial airline accidents on the news, commuter planes have a higher accident rate. These types of private aircraft have a different set of federal safety regulations than larger planes. aAlthough the impact on victims and families can be just as heartbreaking. The legal experts at Walker and Hunter, P.C., will apply their legal expertise and knowledge for the benefit of those who have sustained an injury or lost a loved on in a plane crash.


A Medical Helicopter crash can be devastating.  In a medical emergency, an air ambulance or medical helicopter takes patients to a medical facility. What is already a devastating situation can become worse if one of these aircraft experiences a crash or accident. In these cases, not only can patients suffer further injury, or death, but also medical flight crew members can experience severe injuries or fatalities. The legal team at Walker and Hunter, P.C. will aggressively represent you and defend your rights as a victim. Don’t be a victim twice by attempting to deal with this on your own. Contact Walker Texas Lawyer.


Since 2000, over 40 helicopters have crashed into the Gulf of Mexico while transporting workers to offshore oil rigs. ¬†That’s more than 1 helicopter crash per year on average. ¬†Due to maritime laws, only firms knowledgeable in these types of cases can come to a successful resolution. James S. Walker, was one of the leading attorneys representing victims of the BP Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Walker & Hunter, P.C., is also strategically located in Houston, Texas. This allows our firm to be on the ground and ready to help victims of offshore accidents in the Gulf of Mexico. Walker Texas Lawyer has a proven track record of defending the rights of victims in offshore tragedies.


Aviation Accident Wrongful death suit in Grand Canyon helicopter crash