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  1. ITV Report

Pre-inquest review into deaths of five Britons in Grand Canyon helicopter crash

Undated family handout file photo issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Stuart Hill, 30 (left) and his brother Jason Hill, 32, wh Photo:

An pre-inquest review into the deaths of five friends killed when a helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon opened on Tuesday.

Rebecca Dobson, 26, her boyfriend Stuart Hill, 30, and his brother Jason Hill, 31, died when the Airbus EC130 B4 plummeted into a ball of fire shortly before sunset at the Arizona tourist attraction on February 10, 2018.

The trio, all from Worthing, West Sussex, were on holiday celebrating Stuart’s 30th birthday with a trip to Las Vegas alongside friends Jonathan Udall, 31, and 29-year-old Eleanor Milward from Southampton, who were on their honeymoon.

The newlyweds died from their injuries days apart later that month at the University Medical Centre in Clark, Las Vegas.

The review, held at West Sussex Coroner’s Court in Crawley, is expected to be adjourned until a later date for a full hearing.

The Hill brothers were so badly burned investigators struggled to identify their remains, American autopsy reports released in May revealed.

Mr Udall’s parents are suing the tour operator in a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming their son could have survived if Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters and manufacturer Airbus Helicopters had installed a crash-resistant fuel tank.

They have also accused pilot Scott Booth – who was in a critical condition after the crash – of negligence in a separate lawsuit.

Airbus said it was increasing the number of aircraft built with crash-resistant fuel systems.