NTSB Report: Helicopter spun twice before crash at Grand Canyon - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

NTSB Report: Helicopter spun twice before crash at Grand Canyon

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An image of the crash site was released in a preliminary report. (Source: NTSB) An image of the crash site was released in a preliminary report. (Source: NTSB)
PHOENIX (AP/FOX5) -

A preliminary report on a deadly helicopter crash at the Grand Canyon stated the aircraft spun at least two times before it crashed into a wash and caught on fire. 

The report did not specify what caused the helicopter to crash and a final report is not expected to be completed for more than a year. 

[RELATED: Flights resume on tribal land after fatal Grand Canyon crash]

According to the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report, the helicopter operated by Papillon Airways crash on Feb. 10 at 5:15 p.m. The pilot and three passengers were seriously injured and three other passengers died in the crash. 

[RELATED: Surviving victims, including pilot, of Grand Canyon helicopter crash flown to Las Vegas]

Witnesses reported seeing the helicopter near the vicinity of a landing zone and preparing to land on the pad. As the helicopter began to face the landing pad it began to drift toward the tail of the aircraft. The helicopter subsequently made at least two 360 degree turns as it went towards the wash, impacted the terrain and caught on fire. 

[RELATED: Responders describe rescue after helicopter crash near Grand Canyon]

The report noted the crash scene was small except for small main rotor blade pieces and small paint chips distributed around the main wreckage site. 

An expert told AZ Central that the report's description of the helicopter's movements indicated its tail rotor wasn't working properly to keep the helicopter from spinning. The expert said it could have been due to a mechanical problem or wind conditions in the area. 

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

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