Visiting the Grand Canyon for work

For the last 8 months I have been working for a helicopter tour company in Las Vegas, NV. We mostly fly people to the western end of the Grand Canyon by helicopter, but we also have airplanes.

Our fleet of 3 Beechcraft 1900D’s take tourist to Tusayan, AZ where they then get onto a trolley/bus and head into the Grand Canyon National Park. The flight to Tusayan is just under an hour, compared to almost 5 by car or bus. Customers have the choice of two different tours while at the canyon, two stops by trolley or one stop and a helicopter flight over the canyon.

I am the reserve driver for the Grand Canyon tour. So, when three planes get booked I get on one and fly out to drive the second trolley/bus.(Not a bad commute to work!) Once we land in Tusayan I quickly pre-trip the trolley, load up the customers and the tour begins.

First thing we see on the way to the Canyon
Lake Mead, Pat Tillman Bridge and the Hoover Dam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closer view of the bridge and dam

 

We leave Lake Mead behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is Grand Canyon West, where the helo’s land below the Canyon rim

 

Not much to see out of the right side of the plane
Sometimes the desert has cloud cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado River from the pilot’s seat
Gorgeous scenery from the First Officers seat as well

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My wheels for the day (and the customers)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mather Point, only spot inside the park with this sign. Other spot is just before the entrance station, on the way into the park from Tusayan

 

 

Mather Point offers the best views of the two stops we make
Even when the weather isn’t so great this place is spectacular
I love this one, the clouds, the color, everything!
At Mather looking up one of the many “fingers” of the Canyon
Looking up the same “finger” just with cloud cover
Canyon with some fog rolling through
Looking NE towards Desert View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Angel Lodge area along the Rim Trail
Lookout Point just west of Bright Angel
Winter can make visibility low
Don’t let low visibility ruin your visit, it just makes for a different Canyon
Mother and baby eating some grass while I take my break
This little deer was eating the flowers off this bush
Doe, a deer, a female deer
Young buck
Some spring flowers
Hang in there, a deer will come along soon and nibble on you
Rocky Mountain Elk grazing on the side of the road
They fly in the rain, just not lightning
They fly in snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They fly in perfect weather

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trip is finished, we are cleared for takeoff. Vegas, here we come!

 

The Moon and a planet
Flying back at sunset is peaceful
Sunset from the cockpit
Stormy return flight, good thing we are above the clouds