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Helicopter in flight.

Fly the Grand Canyon.

I am in the lucky position to say that I have actually flown the Grand Canyon on three occasions.

The first time I flew the Grand Canyon was when I was a teenager on a holiday with my mum, dad & sister. I was lucky enough to be sat next to the pilot on this flight & partway through the trip he pointed out a buzzard that had been watching us. It was about to play chicken with us & try to scare us off. It flew straight at us hitting the windscreen & exploded into bits. I had known what was happening but everyone in the back just heard the large bang and felt the helicopter shake. Whilst I was still laughing the pilot told everyone else what had happened.

The second time I flew the canyon I was on a trip with my friend Alastar and I was once again able to sit in the front. My third flight was when I was on an escorted coach tour of America's National Parks & Monuments but this time I had to sit in the back of the helicopter. As I was also in the middle of the seat I also didn't have a direct window to look out of so it was not as good, but I have to say I do love flying in helicopters.

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the state of Arizona in the United States. It is contained within and managed by Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Tribal Nation, the Havasupai people and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of the preservation of the Grand Canyon area & visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists, recent evidence suggests that the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River continued to erode and form the canyon into its present-day configuration.

For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.