A horrifying incident unfolded during a Grand Canyon flight as a pilot was forced to yell at a tourist who recklessly grabbed a crucial lever inside the helicopter. The alarming footage, which was shared on TikTok, has quickly gone viral, amassing over 2.7 million views since its upload on June 7.
In the video, a tourist can be seen reaching for a lever, prompting the pilot to urgently shout “NO” while emphasizing the life-threatening consequences of her actions. With swift reflexes, the pilot grabs the tourist’s wrists, preventing her from engaging the lever positioned in the center of the cabin. “No! That will kill us!” the pilot asserts, undoubtedly shaken by the near-death situation.
Accompanied by the overlay text stating, “Tourist decides to grab lever during Grand Canyon flight,” the video has garnered a flood of comments from viewers eager to share their reactions to this chilling encounter with mortality.
One TikTok user remarked, “It blows my mind the number of civilians who fail to abide by the simple childhood rule of ‘if you don’t know, don’t touch it’.” Another attributed the incident to the infamous “I paid $5000 for this ride, I’ll do whatever I want” mentality. Expressing bewilderment, a third commenter wondered, “How do people get through life?”
Another viewer pondered the impact of such recklessness beyond this particular incident: “Imagine how that person is in everyday life…”
Many viewers expressed their strong conviction that they would have immediately terminated the flight if they were in the pilot’s position. One commenter asserted, “Nah, the tour would be over after that,” while another suggested a strict response: “Straight back to the landing pad, no refund.”
Some users took advantage of the opportunity to educate others about the significance of not tampering with the lever. One TikTok user explained, “Jesus. That is the rotor brake.” Another clarified, “Rotor brake lever – it’s like a parking lock on cars, used to lock rotors when the aircraft is parked. Activating it midair will make the helicopter plummet like a rock.”
The individual who initially shared the short eight-second clip subsequently offered more context in response to a question regarding the tourist’s presence in the co-pilot seat. The accompanying text clarified, “Sorry, I assumed there was a warning sign on the side of the lever because the pictures on the internet showed a ‘do not touch’ warning on it.”