Accident de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Vista Liner 300 N76GC, Wednesday 18 June 1986
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Date:Wednesday 18 June 1986
Time:09:33
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Vista Liner 300
Owner/operator:Grand Canyon Airlines
Registration: N76GC
MSN: 248
Year of manufacture:1969
Total airframe hrs:30569 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Fatalities:Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 20
Other fatalities:5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:Grand Canyon National Park, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Grand Canyon-National Park Airport, AZ (GCN/KGCN)
Destination airport:Grand Canyon-National Park Airport, AZ (GCN/KGCN)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The DHC-6 took off from Grand Canyon-National Park Airport runway 21 at 08:55 for a 50-minute air tour over Grand Canyon National Park. At 09:13 a Helitech Bell 206B JetRanger (N6TC) took off from a heliport near Tusayan for a 30-minute air tour.
Both aircraft collided in the area of the Tonto Plateau, at an altitude of 6500 feet msl. The Bell main rotor blade struck and severed the DHC-6's nosegear. The opposite blade of the Bell struck the aft portion of the fuselage of the DHC-6.
A fuel cell of the Vista Liner was ruptured, creating a vaporous cloud of fuel. The rotor head of the Bell 206 separated and debris from the disintegrating rotor blade struck the left side and tail of the DHC-6. The tail separated, causing the DHC-6 to lose control and pitch over. The aircraft struck the ground in an inverted attitude and the helicopter free-fell to the ground following the rotor blade separation.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the flight crew of both aircraft to 'see and avoid' each other for undetermined reasons.
Contributing to the accident was the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration to exercise its oversight responsibility over flight operations in the Grand Canyon scenic air tour operators. Also contributing to the accident was the modification and configuration of the routes of the rotary-wing operators resulting in their intersecting with the routes of Grand Canyon Airlines near Crystal Rapids."

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: NTSB/AAR-87-03
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report

Sources:

ICAO Circular 245-AN/147
NTSB/AAR-87/03

Statistics

  • 22nd worst accident in 1986
  • 12th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 5th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Images:


photo (c) Bob Garrard; Grand Canyon-National Park Airport, AZ (GCN/KGCN); August 1985


photo (c) via Werner Fischdick; Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS); February 1971

Revision history:

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