|AP photo by Brandon Torres|
Drones have been used before at Grand Canyon in other capacities, Galvan writes. "In November, after a visitor drove off a cliff and died, drones were sent in to examine the trees and brush and make sure it was safe for a helicopter to fly in and lift the car out." One month later, "rangers used a drone to locate a woman who had jumped to her death. Then they rappelled down to retrieve the body."
Matt Vandzura, chief ranger at Grand Canyon, told Galvan, "Our historic model was to take the helicopter to look and see," but he said now drones can offer "that same close look but without putting any people at risk. It has dramatically increased our ability to keep our people safe."