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Papillon Group’s Golden “Copter 50” Officially Unveiled During 50th Anniversary Celebration

Papillon Group's Golden "Copter 50" Officially Unveiled During 50th Anniversary Celebration
Papillon Group
unveiled its “Golden Helicopter, also known as “Copter 50,” in a stunning 5-helicopter formation at Papillon’s Boulder City Aerocenter on Thursday, April 16 (Photo credit: Isaac Brekken)

Papillon Group unveils "Golden Helicopter" via a stunning 5-helicopter formation
Papillon Group unveils “Golden Helicopter” via a stunning 5-helicopter formation

Photo credit: Mike Reyno.

The ceremonial formation symbolized five decades of operation as the world’s largest and longest-running helicopter tour company. On board the helicopters were three generations of the Halvorson family, including Elling Halvorson, founder and chairman of the board, Papillon Group. Once the helicopters landed, the Hualapai Nation officially blessed the brand-new Airbus H130T2 helicopter. The event concluded with a Champagne toast.

The Golden Helicopter, also known as "Copter 50," debuted at Papillon's Boulder City Aerocenter
The Golden Helicopter, also known as “Copter 50,” debuted at Papillon’s Boulder City Aerocenter

Photo credit: Isaac Brekken.

More than 250 guests attended, including dignitaries, community leaders and industry influencers, as well as nearly 100 Papillon employees. Guests, employees and dignitaries were dressed in gold and white as part of the festive occasion.

More than 250 guests attended the event, including dignitaries, community leaders and industry influencers, as well as nearly 100 Papillon employees. Guests, employees and dignitaries were dressed in gold and white as part of the festive occasion.
More than 250 guests attended the event, including dignitaries, community leaders and industry influencers, as well as nearly 100 Papillon employees. Guests, employees and dignitaries were dressed in gold and white as part of the festive occasion.

Photo credit: Isaac Brekken.

The company’s story began in 1965, thanks to the vision of Elling Halvorson, who was a young contractor at the time charged with building a 13.5-mile-long water pipeline from the North Rim to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. During this project, Halvorson was first introduced to helicopters, which he used to lower sections of pipeline into place. Upon completion of the project, he recognized the incredible opportunity to utilize helicopters for air tours and Grand Canyon Helicopters was born. The company would go on to make history by becoming one of the first aerial sightseeing companies in the world and the first helicopter tour operator to fly the Grand Canyon.

Papillon founder Elling Halvorson with his daughter, president and chief executive officer Brenda Halvorson
Papillon founder Elling Halvorson with his daughter, president and chief executive officer Brenda Halvorson

Photo credit: Isaac Brekken.

Halvorson’s daughter, Brenda, and son, Lon, both joined the company in the late ’80s. Brenda Halvorson has served as president and chief executive officer of Papillon Group for the past two decades while her brother, Lon Halvorson, has served as executive vice president, overseeing fleet acquisition and financing. The company is now welcoming a third generation of family into the business to ensure the legacy continues.

For more information about Papillon Group, visit www.Papillon.com and follow on www.Facebook.com/Papillon and www.Twitter.com/IFlyPapillon