All of Grand Canyon Whitewater’s 7-day Full Canyon trips include a helicopter and fixed-wing flight. You may even get two flights if you choose to start in Las Vegas and be flown to the starting point at Marble Canyon. Grand Canyon Whitewater (GCW) works with one company, Bar 10 Ranch, who organizes flights for us with Papillon Helicopters and Grand Canyon Airlines. The other Grand Canyon outfitters also work, in association with GCW, through Bar 10 for all flights. Sometimes we get questions regarding the types of aircraft that will be used to transport rafters to/from their river trip.
For flights from Las Vegas to Marble Canyon and from the end of a trip back to either Las Vegas or Marble Canyon, rafters will be in one of the following airplanes:
The DeHavilland Twin Otter (DHC-6) (below) is a highly maneuverable, versatile aircraft which can be flown slowly (80-160 knots/150-300 km/hr) and in tight circles. The Twin Otter is a high-winged, unpressurized, twin-engine turboprop aircraft equipped with color weather radar, radar altimeter, dual GPS/Loran-C navigation systems with scientific data drops, and camera ports in the nose and belly areas.
Number of seats: 19
Airspeed: 80-160 knots
The Cessna 208 Caravan (below) is a single-engine turboprop, fixed-tricycle landing gear, short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft that is built in the United States by Cessna. The airplane typically seats nine passengers with a single pilot, although with a FAR Part 23 waiver it can seat up to fourteen passengers. The aircraft is also used for cargo feeder liner operations.
Number of seats: 9
Airspeed: 80-160 knots
For the quick trip from the river (Whitmore Wash) up to the rim (Bar 10 Ranch) you’ll be in one of Papillon’s helicopters like this:
The Bell 206L (Long Ranger) IV is a remarkable combination of power, room, and range. 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.