Helicopters Magazine

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TSB releases May 2011 crash report

March 15, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

March 15, 2012, Gatineau, Que. - Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its final investigation report (A11W0070) into the loss of control and collision with the water involving a helicopter operated by Campbell Helicopters Ltd. that occurred on Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, on 20 May 2011.

The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the helicopter, died in the crash. Mid-afternoon on the 20 of May 2011, the Campbell Helicopters Ltd. helicopter was conducting bucketing operations on a forest fire fighting mission. The investigation found that "the pilot likely overestimated the helicopter's altitude while on final approach due to glassy water conditions and a lack of visual references, which led to the water bucket inadvertently entering the
water" before the helicopter was established in the hover. The aircraft climbed approximately 100 feet above the lake and then rolled rapidly to the right and crashed into the lake. It sustained major damage.

The pilot succumbed to head injuries as a result of the impact. The investigation also found that "the lack of regulations or policies requiring helicopter pilots to wear helmets places them at greater risk of incapacitation
due to head injuries following a ditching or crash." This risk to pilots is a finding in other TSB investigations, most notably from the TSB investigation into the Cougar Helicopters< crash off the coast of Newfoundland in 2009 (A09A0016).

The final investigation report A11W0070 and all related materials are available on the TSB website at www.bst-tsb.gc.ca.



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