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Newlyweds from India among copter crash victims
by Ken Ritter - Associated Press
Dec 11, 2011 | 1676 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Medical examiners on Sunday identified the remaining unnamed victims killed in the crash of a sightseeing helicopter outside Las Vegas last week, releasing the names of newlyweds from India who were in the U.S. on vacation.

Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy told The Associated Press on Sunday that Lovish Bhanot, 28, and Anupama Bhola, 26, both from New Delhi, were among the five people killed in the crash during a Sundance Helicopters twilight tour near Lake Mead.

Murphy, who spoke with family members of the newlyweds late Saturday, said the couple, who married in India in early November, died of multiple injuries and burns.

He previously had confirmed the names of pilot Landon Nield, 31, of Las Vegas, and tourists Delwin and Tamara Chapman, both 49, of Utica, Kan., who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

Federal investigators have said the helicopter made a sudden climb and sharp turns moments before plunging into a canyon Wednesday, killing all five people aboard.

Sundance CEO Larry Pietropaolo said there was no distress call before the chopper’s GPS signal stopped during the flight — which typically would be a 40-minute twilight journey over Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead reservoir on the Colorado River, the western rim of the Grand Canyon and the neon-lit Las Vegas Strip.

National Transportation Safety Board officials said the fatal flight was the fourth for the aircraft after it underwent routine maintenance Tuesday to replace the engine and mechanical actuators in the tail and main rotor.

Investigators were reviewing pilot, aircraft and maintenance records, and wouldn’t speculate what might have caused the aircraft to go down about sunset in rugged and rocky mountains about 12 miles east of Las Vegas near Lake Mead.

The NTSB is scheduled to release a preliminary report by Dec. 20, but a final report with safety recommendations could take up to a year.
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