Helicopter tour company had crash in 2003 - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Helicopter tour company had crash in 2003

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Sundance Helicopters, the company that owned an aircraft that crashed Wednesday at Lake Mead, previously lost a helicopter in a Sept. 20, 2003 crash at the Grand Canyon.

In that incident, the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the pilot, 45-year-old Takashi Mezaki, was at fault when the Aerospatiale helicopter clipped the canyon wall and struck a ledge.

Mezaki and six tourists died in the crash. The passengers were identified as Joseph and Nouhad Hanna of Huntington, W.Va.; Masami Kato and Makiko Hatano, of Japan; and Wolf-Dieter Mueller and Julia Hueyng of Germany.

Documents released during the investigation showed Mezaki was nicknamed "Kamikaze" for his flying style, although he was described as a skilled pilot.

The NTSB sent a 12-person Go-Team to southern Nevada Thursday to investigate the Lake Mead crash.

Sundance released a statement confirming the crash Wednesday and said it would cooperate with the NTSB, but the company did not provide details on the pilot or passengers.

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