Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters

The primary use of our helicopter transportation service is to get river rafters transported between the Colorado River and the Bar 10 Ranch. This exchange is done at the end or beginning of your white water rafting trip at river mile 187 (Whitmore Wash). This service is typically part of your Grand Canyon rafting trip package. If you are entering/exiting the canyon with a commercial river outfitter, all logistics are taken care of by your commercial river outfitter. However, if you are interested in a special helicopter charter or request this can be arranged by calling one of our friendly reservations staff members.

Presently, we have Papillon Airways Inc. based out of the Grand Canyon South Rim doing all of our helicopter services. The Halvorson family began flying guests in 1965, and Papillon Helicopters has been the world’s oldest and largest sightseeing company flying an estimated 600,000 passengers a year on its daily tours in and around the Grand Canyon. Papillon is certified by the national Tour Operators Program of Safety (TOPS) for exceeding Federal Safety Standards and Procedures! Papillon also operates helicopters for both the U.S. Department of Defense and Interior! At Papillon, experience is the difference, and great service is the key and all pilots are trained in accordance with guidelines laid out by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 135 requirements, which is specific for sightseeing operators.

The type of helicopter that Papillon is using for river raft transports is the Bell 206L (Long Ranger). The LongRangerIV is a remarkable combination of power, room, and range. Some highlights of this helicopter include:

  • The patented Nodal Beam suspension system for the smoothest ride available and club passenger seating for face-to-face conversation.
  • Wide opening doors and a roomy cabin ideal for cargo hauling, utility work, and law enforcement missions.
  • A simple high inertia two-bladed rotor system for superior safety and excellent autorotation characteristics.
  • An overall best value offering, this simple and durable design which incorporates a powerful and reliable 650 horsepower engine makes the 206L-4 the best 7-place light helicopter available for the money.