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BC helicopter crash still a mystery

Dec. 3, 2009, Vancouver – The federal Transportation Safety Board says it has not pinpointed the cause of an engine failure that sent a helicopter crashing into the streets of Cranbrook, B.C., in May 2008, killing four people.


December 3, 2009
By Administrator

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Dec. 3, 2009, Vancouver – The federal Transportation Safety Board says it has not pinpointed the cause of an engine failure that sent a helicopter crashing into the streets of Cranbrook, B.C., in May 2008, killing four people.

Among the victims was a young international student who was oblivious to the impending crash as he listened to music on his iPod on the street below, as well as the pilot and two passengers.

The board's final report on the crash says the single-engine Bell Jet Ranger owned by Bighorn helicopters and working for B.C. Hydro was too badly damaged in the post-crash fire to find the reason why it suddenly lost power while flying about 35 metres above the ground.

But lead investigator Damien Lawson says the flight should not have taken place under Transport Canada rules governing low-level flights over populated areas.

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Lawson says the rules about whether Bighorn should have applied for a waiver to make the inspection flight were ambiguous, and clarifying them was one of several recommendations coming out of the TSB investigation.

B.C. Hydro, which lost two employees in the crash, issued its own new helicopter-use policy after the crash, and now uses twin-engine helicopters in most of its operations.


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