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Sundance or Maverick

Sundance or Maverick


Old Apr 30, 19, 3:45 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Sundance or Maverick

Hi ,

can anyone one recommend which company based on safety to use to for a Grand Canyon tour
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Old Apr 30, 19, 8:07 pm
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What aspect of safety are you concerned with?

We flew Maverick this January (2019) for a Grand Canyon tour (with a landing in the Canyon) and felt v. safe. They weigh everyone to ensure weight / balance. Before boarding the helicopter, everyone had to listen to the pilot review a safety briefing, and everyone was given a safety pouch to wear (think it had a life vest). Once you board the helicopter, you have to put on a safety belts and headset (to hear the music, the pilot as well as each other). The pilot was ex-Air Force, if memory serves. The ride was generally smooth, and we were given a heads-up when the pilot anticipated a bit of choppiness (such as when we rounded a bend).

The helicopter appeared well-maintained (from my inexperienced POV) and on our tour with six people (2 groups of 3s), we did make a fuel stop on the way back to home base. The pilot commented that it was more for precaution as he thought there was enough fuel but did not want to take a chance. This actually gave us a chance to experience an additional landing / take-off!

Overall, it was a great experience. Maverick rents a few landing spots on the bottom of the Canyon (where we had champagne and snacks). I didn't see any Sundance copters, but did see another company called Papillon (or something like that) also with landing spots at the bottom of the base.

The only negative that I would highlight is not safety related... While they described the tour as 4 hours, that is inclusive of hotel pick-up / drop-off. The actual tour was only around 2 to 2.5 hours.
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Old Apr 30, 19, 8:52 pm
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Maverick is well-regarded for safety record. IIRC Sundance had a fatal accident in 2011 that the NTSB blamed on poor maintenance.

EDIT: Here's a website detailing accidents in/around the Grand Canyon: Air Tour Accidents at and around Grand Canyon Aviation Impact Reform

Looks like Sundance had another fatal accident back in 2003.
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