Parents’ tribute to brothers killed in Grand Canyon helicopter crash

·2-min read
Brothers Stuart (left) and Jason Hill died in the Grand Canyon helicopter crash that killed five Britons. (PA)
Brothers Stuart (left) and Jason Hill died in the Grand Canyon helicopter crash that killed five Britons. (PA)

The parents of two brothers who died in a Grand Canyon helicopter crash that killed five Britons have described them as “wonderful sons” who “made the room light up on their arrival”.

Brothers Stuart and Jason Hill, 30 and 32, from Worthing, were killed in the tragedy, along with Stuart’s 27-year-old girlfriend Becky Dobson in 2018.

Their friends, honeymooning newlyweds Ellie Milward, from West Sussex, and Jonathan Udall, from Southampton, also died from injuries sustained in the crash.

A coroner said a crash-resistant fuel system may have saved lives during an inquest this week, the BBC reported.

David Hill, father of Stuart and Jason Hill, who were killed alongside Becky Dobson in a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon speaks to reporters before a memorial service at St. Matthews Church in West Sussex.
David Hill, father of Stuart and Jason Hill, speaks at a memorial service. (PA)

Stuart and Jason’s parents David and Sandra Hill said: "Our beloved boys, were fine upstanding young men who made the room light up on their arrival. They put a smile on everyone's face.

"They were both flying high in their lives and careers, had many plans for the future and they were so excited to be going on this trip with their friends.”

The Airbus EC130 B4 was engulfed in flames after crashing at the Arizona tourist attraction shortly before sunset on February 10 in 2018.

The group were on holiday in the US to celebrate Stuart’s 30th birthday and the Udalls as newlyweds with a trip to Las Vegas.

Jason’s girlfriend Jennifer Dorricott survived the crash but suffered life-changing injuries.

Pilot Scott Booth, who also survived but had both his legs amputated, was conducting his third air tour flight of the day when he attempted to land next to the Colorado River within the Grand Canyon.

A report previously concluded a probable cause was the pilot losing control due to tailwind conditions.

Sara-Jane Stevens, Curate at St. Matthews Church in Worthing, West Sussex, conducts a memorial service for Stuart and Jason Hill, who were killed alongside Becky Dobson in a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon.
A memorial service for Stuart and Jason Hill at St Matthews Church in Worthing. (PA)

West Sussex Coroner Penelope Schofield recommended crash-resistant fuel systems be made mandatory on helicopters in a request to the Civil Aviation Authority.

She concluded the deaths were accidental.

The parents of Mr Udall sued helicopter company Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters and aircraft manufacturer Airbus Helicopters over failing to equip the helicopter with the crash-resistant system, in a case that is ongoing.

After the crash, the helicopter company announced that it would fit crash-resistant tanks to its fleet.

Airbus Helicopters insisted it was increasing the number of aircraft being built with crash-resistant fuel systems after it was sued.

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