Authorities found Friday the body of a passenger on a sightseeing helicopter who plunged to his death at Grand Canyon National Park in an apparent suicide.

The company operating the helicopter said the passenger removed his seat belt during the flight Thursday, opened a door and intentionally jumped. Park officials offered few details on what led up to the man’s death, saying only that he allegedly opened the door and exited the helicopter.

“Right now they are calling it an apparent suicide, but it’s still under investigation,” said park spokeswoman Leah McGinnis.

The Federal Aviation Administration will no longer participate in the investigation because the Papillon Airways pilot tried to restrain the man, said FAA spokesman Mike Fergus.

“The pilot didn’t do anything wrong,” Fergus said. “They didn’t know he was going to commit suicide.”


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