2018 Grand Canyon helicopter crash caused by turbulence, NTSB report says

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FILE – In this Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, file photo, a survivor, lower right, walks away from the scene of a deadly tour helicopter crash along the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The pilot of the helicopter that crashed in the Grand Canyon in 2018, killing five British tourists, says he lost control of the aircraft after a “violent gust of wind” sent it spinning. The National Transportation Safety Board released its final report Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, that said tailwinds, potential downdrafts and turbulence were the probable cause of the loss of control and tail-rotor effectiveness. (Teddy Fujimoto via AP, File)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in the Grand Canyon in 2018, killing five British tourists, says he lost control of the aircraft after a “violent gust of wind” sent it spinning.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued its final report Thursday.

Investigators found that tailwinds, potential downdrafts and turbulence were the probable cause of the crash on the Hualapai reservation outside the national park.

The board found no evidence of pilot error or mechanical problems with the aircraft.

The pilot and one passenger suffered severe burns but survived the fiery crash.

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