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TSB investigators look for clues in fatal crash

April 2, 2012, Edmonton - Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board will not be able to get to the scene of a fatal helicopter crash that killed a young B.C. pilot until early next week and won't have a black box recorder to help in their investigation.


April 2, 2012
By The Edmonton Journal

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The board is responsible for determining what happened during the
sightseeing helicopter trip that killed a pilot, but not the four
tourists, believed to be from out of country, who were aboard at the
time of the crash by Grotto Mountain.

The tourists were on a 20-minute sightseeing trip and on their way to go snowshoeing for an hour in the South Ghost area.

RCMP have identified the deceased pilot as Matthew Goodine, 28, of
British Columbia. His family in Prince George declined to comment.

Prince George-based Tech Helicopters said in a statement that Goodine
"was a good friend, a good snowmobile buddy, and a good pilot. "He had a
passion for the industry and was following his dream. We are deeply
saddened to hear about his death. Heartfelt condolences go out to his
family. He will be missed," said the company.

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The board hopes to interview the four survivors "as soon as possible," said spokesperson Chris Krepski.

There was no black box – the recording device that can be retrieved from
aircraft crashes – because a helicopter of that size is not required to
have one, said Krepski.

Getting to the collision site has also been a challenge for
investigators. "I do know that weather is impeding our ability to get in
there," said Krepski.

The crash involved a Bell 205 helicopter operated by Kananaskis Mountain Helicopters and was flown by Kananaskis Heli Tours.

The company offers flight services to various industries: forestry,
tourism, oil and gas support, heli-skiing, search and rescue and
advanced flight training among other services. It has been around since
1994 and operates a fleet of 11 aircraft.

President and operations manager Ralph Sliger said on Saturday the company would co-operate fully with investigators.

"It is a very sad day for all the staff at Kananaskis Mountain
Helicopters; our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of
our pilot," said Sliger.

"We have met with all the staff in the company, suspended flight
operations for the weekend and are bringing in grief counsellors to
assist."

Sliger said the company flies 12,000 passengers on helicopter tours in
Kananaskis a year. Most of its tourism business comes from pre-booked
tours sold by operators from Europe and North America.

The chopper crashed at 10: 30 a.m. on Friday, but Cochrane RCMP did not find out about it until after 12 p.m.

The survivors suffered only minor injuries and were treated and released
from hospital. Goodine died before arriving at hospital.


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