RICHMOND, BC, Dec. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - The Transportation Safety Board of
Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (A12P0079) into a
fatal collision with terrain involving a Eurocopter AS350 operated by
Bailey Helicopters Ltd. on 1 June 2012 in Terrace, British Columbia.
The helicopter was on a local mountain training flight in daylight
conditions under visual flight rules with three crew members on board.
Approximately 45 minutes into the flight, the helicopter struck the
snow-covered side of a mountain ravine. It was destroyed on impact, and
there were no survivors.
The weather at the time was cloudy and rainy, with most of the mountain
peaks obscured by clouds and low visibility. The company held a
Transport Canada authorization for flight in reduced-visibility
conditions of half statute mile (sm) rather than the standard
limitation of one sm. Investigators determined that the helicopter
inadvertently entered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), which
caused the pilots to lose visual reference to the ground and become
disoriented and lose control. Neither pilot held an instrument rating
nor received any recent instrument flight training, and the helicopter
was not equipped for flight in instrument meteorological conditions.
Research suggests that pilots without instrument flight training who
lose sight of the ground will lose control of their aircraft within
Following the accident, Bailey Helicopters suspended its authorization
for reduced-visibility flights. It enhanced training for its pilots,
including controlled flight into terrain avoidance and inadvertent
meteorological condition training, implemented tools to enhance pilot
decision making and implemented a flight data monitoring program.
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline,
railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the
advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the
Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
SOURCE: Transportation Safety Board of Canada