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Maverick Helicopters - Flying the Grand Canyon in a Maverick ECO-Star EC-130


Maverick Helicopters - Grand Canyon

Maverick Helicopters - Landing at Grand Canyon Airport

Copyright: Elizabeth R. Mitchell

Maverick Helicopter Basics - Flightseeing the Grand Canyon:

Maverick provides flightseeing tours of both Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We toured the Grand Canyon and recommend flightseeing the Grand Canyon with Maverick.

Phone: 702-261-0007 or 888-261-4414
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The Grand Canyon National Airport, where your tour will begin, is located in Tusayan, seven miles from the South Rim. Map.


Maverick has a fleet of very new, state-of-the-art flightseeing helicopters. Maverick’s ECO-star helicopters feature wraparound glass for outstanding visibility, front-facing, theater-style seating and individual leather seats. I enjoyed the ECO-star as it was very quiet and I didn't experience the shaking associated with helicopter flight. In fact, riding with Maverick was like taking off over the Grand Canyon in a bubble!


Maverick offers two Grand Canyon tours. The 25 minute Canyon Dancer tour takes you over the picturesque Kalibab National Forest, over the Colorado River to the North Rim and back.

The Canyon Spirit trip gives you more time to enjoy the beauty of the Canyon, experiencing the formations and appreciating the depth of the Canyon and incorporates more of the forest scenery. You will follow the Colorado River upstream to its merging with the Little Colorado River. This flight lasts 45 minutes.

What to Expect Before the Flight:

When you reach the modern terminal, you will be weighed (weight limit 300 per seat). Guests over 16 must bring valid photo identification on their flight.

While you wait you will be able to see other helicopters take off and land.

You will then be briefed by the pilot who will come in to meet you. At the helicopter, you will be given a safety briefing and will be issued a small life vest pack (silly rule), headset and will be assigned your seat for the trip. Buckle in and you are ready to fly!

What to Expect During the Flight:

Once you have your headset on, you can hear the pilot speak to you as well as your fellow passengers. The headset also muffles the engine noise so the ride is rather quiet.

Taking off is like rising in a bubble. You will be airborne before you know it! One of the biggest thrills is flying over the forest and reaching the edge of the canyon which gently drops off as you fly to a place where you can look down and see the Colorado River.

As you gently "float" over the canyon you will be able to see the canyon walls, rock formations and enjoy the perspective from the North Rim.

Landing is as smooth and easy as take-off.

In-Flight Photography:

You can actually get some pretty good shots from any seat in the helicopter if your fellow passengers help you by moving out of the way. Shooting through the plexiglass is better if you minimize refelection by wearing dark clothing. If your photos don't look great, never fear, the whole trip will be available to you on DVD. A digital picture of your group and pilot in front of the helicopter is also available as soon as you return to the airport.

Helicopter Weddings:

Yes, you can incorporate a helicopter flight into your Grand Canyon Wedding. Maverick even has a "wedding coordinator" to help you with your special day. Say your wedding vows at at a landings spot, 4000 feet below the rim of the Canyon. More...


(2008)$175 (25 min. trip) and $235 (45 min. trip)

Flying with Maverick - Review and Recommendations:

I've flown in fixed wing aircraft, both large and small, and had my first hot air balloon ride at Albuquerque's International Balloon Fiesta, but this was my first helicopter ride. I was slightly apprehensive but once we were aloft, I realized I had nothing to be concerned about. The flight was beautiful and I felt completely at ease in the helicopter.

Like I mentioned, taking off was like flying in a bubble. We chose the longer flight and I enjoyed flying over the tree-tops and was thrilled as we flew over the edge of the canyon which opened below us.

Our pilot provided narration and answered questions as we flew. He pointed out formations and let us know where we were headed. I had never been to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and so it was a thrill to fly there. Some of the trees were turning golden and so the colors below us were spectacular.

I recommend taking the longer, 45 minute, tour as, even that felt short. There is so much to see and experience over the Grand Canyon.

Once we landed, we were offered the DVD of our flight and a photograph of our group to purchase. I was glad I had both. You can also purchase hats, t-shirts and sweatshirts with the Maverick, Grand Canyon Logo. Of course I had to have a hat!

I recommend taking a flightseeing tour with Maverick due to their impeccable safety record, state-of-the-art aircraft and personal service. The price is reasonable given the experience you will be guaranteed.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary tour for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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