Tour helicopter damaged in hard landing at Boulder City

No one was hurt Wednesday after a tour helicopter on a test flight made a hard landing at the Boulder City Airport.

Only the pilot was on board Papillon’s Eurocopter EC130 when it landed about 3:05 p.m. after a maintenance test flight, the company said. The company does tours of Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

The helicopter was eight minutes into the flight and 200 feet above the ground when the engine failed, Brok Armantrout told the Boulder City Review. Armantrout is the city’s community development director and oversees the airport.

It crashed in the desert 150 feet north of the airport’s main runway and tipped over, causing the main rotor and tail rotor to break, he said.

“I think if it hit hard on asphalt it may have been a different result,” he told the newspaper.
Federal Aviation Administration officials were investigating.

Papillon did not say how badly its helicopter was damaged.

“Safety remains our top priority. Our records demonstrate we consistently go above and beyond to ensure we maintain one of the most rigorous maintenance programs in the industry,” a spokesman wrote in a statement.

Boulder City Review reporter Jack Johnson contributed to this report. Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com. Follow @blasky on Twitter.