March 2, 2023 2 min read

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Aussies Who “Crash Landed” in Las Vegas Sue Tour Operator for $400K

The tourists were coming back to Las Vegas as part of a sightseeing tour when their helicopter experienced a “rough landing”

All people on board suffered serious injuries as a result of the landing. They have now decided to press charges against the company arranging the helicopter ride. The incident took place on December 27 and a complaint was formally filed with the Nevada state court this week.

The plaintiffs, who are all related, have accused Papillon Grand Canyon Tours and its parent company, Papillon Airways, of negligence which led to the indecent. The parents, Cedomir and Amy Rakic, and their children aged 19 and 17, suffered head fractures, spinal injuries, and trauma, and will now seek $400,000 in damages from the company.

Other passengers were injured, too, based on the available public information, although the Rakics are not including other plaintiffs in their legal motion at this point. The incident took place at the Boulder City Airport in Lake Mead. The nature of the incident has also been open to debate. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chose the term “hard landing” but the media percolated the term “crash while landing” instead, yours truly included.

Cause of Accident and Lingering Doubt about Negligence

The company has been open to cooperation, and it said that it was at the time working with the NTSB to help establish the cause of the incident and how such incidents can be averted in future. Company president Jake Tomlin assured in an interview for the Associated Press this week that an investigation has been underway.

So far, technical analysis has suggested that the Airbus EC130 T2, on which the tourists were, experienced a malfunction which caused its skids to collapse and forced the tail boom to hit the ground instead. The family, though, and their lawyer do not believe it’s just a technical malfunction but rather the logical continuation of the way the company has been doing business.

Speaking to the Associated Press, the Rakics’ lawyer, Brittany Sanders Robb, argued that the company had a history of similar incidents during their sightseeing tours. In fact, an Airbus EC130 B4 owned by the company crashed in Arizona’s Grand Canyon in 2018, killing five people. The pilot and another person survived, but they suffered extensive injuries.

At the time, the NTSB concluded that the helicopter faced a combination of tailwinds, turbulence and downdrafts that led to the tragedy. No technical expertise in both case has suggested negligence on the part of the company.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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