Grand Canyon, AZ Sightseeing Plane Crash, May 1991


Grand Canyon, Ariz. (AP) -- A sightseeing plane crashed and burned Monday on a plateau near the Grand Canyon, killing all seven people aboard.
The single-engine Cessna 207 crashed in Kaibab National Forest about four miles south of the canyon rim, said Bill Pribilo, chief Coconino County sheriff's deputy. He said the pilot and six other people died.
Identification of the victims was not available but the passengers were Swiss and German tourists, said Darla McIcher, a sheriff's dispatcher in Flagstaff.
A National Park Service helicopter pilot found the wreckage about 10 miles east of Grand Canyon Village while checking a reported forest fire, Pribil said. The crash apparently occurred about 1:30 p.m., he said.
The flight was a sightseeing trip originating at Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, about 12 miles south of Grand Canyon Village, Pribil said. He said Air Grand Canyon, a charter service based in Prescott, operated the aircraft.
A receptionist in the Air Grand Canyon office said no one there would comment until today.
The cause of the crash wasn't known immediately.
The plane crashed in an area where the National Forest Service had let a lumber company clear-cut, or take out all the trees. Fire engulfed the plane and about 2 1/2 acres of nearby underbrush, said sheriff's Capt. Sam Whitted, who directed crews at the scene.
The plane apparently cliped the tops of several tall pines as it approached the cleared area and then nosed into the ground at a steep angle and exploded, Whitted said.
In June 1986, a crash between a plane and helicopter over the canyon killed 25 people, most of them sightseers. The crash, combined with complaints about noise from sightseeing flights, prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to restrict flights over the canyon in 1988. The rules ban planes from four zones over the park.

Intelligencer Doylestown Pennsylvania 1991-05-15

List of Casualties:
Pilot ROBERT MATHEWS, 26, of Chandler.
DORIS KALIN, United Kingdom.
GABY HORLER, United Kingdom.
FRANZ LUOND, Switzerland.
MAX KRUCKER, Switzerland.