YVRLTN
Topic Author
Posts: 2268
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:49 pm

Grand Canyon: Twotter Or Chopper?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:28 am

My inlaws have kindly invited my wife and I to join them on a short break which will include a visit to the Grand Canyon in April.

As it is a big birthday this year, it will be all expenses paid including a scenic flight of the canyon as my special treat! As such, I have been commissioned to research it.

So, has anyone done this and what would you reccommend - the Twin Otter or the helicopter (or even a Cessna or something)?

My mother in law is rather 'large', particularly in the nether regions LOL and my father in law thinks a helicopter would be rather problematic for her, and is leaning towards the fixed wing, but is rather paranoid about any small aircraft.

I have flown a Bell 407 and agree it could be a bit claustrophobic for those not keen on flying, but a Twin Otter is missing off my log (even though one flies over my head every hour....) and Im thinking the views and chances for photography will be better with those big vistaliner windows.

How about value for money? Appreciate any experiences, preferences or pros and cons you guys have on particular operators or aircraft.
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KingFriday013
Posts: 879
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 7:56 am

RE: Grand Canyon: Twotter Or Chopper?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:17 pm

When I went, we took both...

We flew on Scenic Airlines in one of their Dash 6 VistaLiners (upgraded engines, 4-bladed props, HUGE windows) from North Las Vegas to Crand Canyon West airport, taking a scenic route of course. From there, we actually took a helicopter (I think a Bell 407 but I'll never know for sure) down into the canyon and landed at the bottom and got to walk around for a little bit. After we were brought back up, we had lunch catered by the Native Americans over at Guano Point (I think that's what it was called... either way it's a short bus ride from the airport), then flew back to North Las Vegas. It was an amazing trip!

-J.
Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
 
icarus75
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:18 am

RE: Grand Canyon: Twotter Or Chopper?

Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:39 pm

I did both and hands up I'll say : helicopter!!!
It's far more impressive!

Small plane could be fine but in a very small one (the pilot and 2 passengers) as I did over Lake Powell and Monument Valley.
Flying is amazing!
 
Quokka
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:26 pm

RE: Grand Canyon: Twotter Or Chopper?

Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:12 pm

Despite never having visited the Grand canyon, I am biased towards the helicopter. You will undoubtedly get some good shots from a fixed wing, but the benefit of the chopper is that it is more manoeuvrable and can get you in closer to the action.

One of the scenic attractions in Western Australia is the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park. You can take a fixed wing flight in a Cessna Grand Caravan from Kununurra or you can take a helicopter from within the park itself. I have taken both and the difference was amazing. While the Cessna could overfly the domes, the helicopter could fly between them and follow individual creeks and gorges in a way that is not possible in a fixed wing. With the "window" open the photo opportunities were much greater than trying to take shots through the perspex on the plane.

OK, the Grand Canyon and the Bungle Bungles are completely different, but the fact that a helicopter gets you closer to what you are looking at is always a bonus.
 
YVRLTN
Topic Author
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:49 pm

RE: Grand Canyon: Twotter Or Chopper?

Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:25 am

Quoting KingFriday013 (Reply 1):
took a helicopter (I think a Bell 407 but I'll never know for sure) down into the canyon and landed at the bottom and got to walk around for a little bit.

Thanks, the helicopter does sound tempting, particularly this bit. Only thing is there are 4 of us and we would all like to go at the same time. Anyone know if space is an issue and we can just show up - in April - or if we should book in advance?

I know the flights are all operated by rival companies, but are there any packages you can get to do both?
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KingFriday013
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 7:56 am

RE: Grand Canyon: Twotter Or Chopper?

Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:32 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 4):
Thanks, the helicopter does sound tempting, particularly this bit. Only thing is there are 4 of us and we would all like to go at the same time. Anyone know if space is an issue and we can just show up - in April - or if we should book in advance?

You have to do advance reservations (at least we did). I think we may have booked it through our hotel. They picked us up on a coach bus from the hotel and took us to the airport and back at the end of the day.

Also, you'll all go in the helicopter at the same time; I'm one of a family of four and we all went at the same time.

FYI the DHC-6 holds 19 passengers in a 1-2 config.

-J.
Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

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