The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released itsÂ final investigation report (A11W0070)Â into the loss of control and collision with the water involving a helicopter operated by Campbell HelicoptersÂ Ltd.Â that occurred on Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, onÂ 20 May 2011. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the helicopter, died in the crash.
Midâ€“afternoonÂ on theÂ 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 100Â 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 thatÂ
â€œthe 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.â€Â This risk to pilots is a finding in otherÂ TSBÂ investigations, most notably from theTSBÂ investigation into theÂ Cougar Helicopters crashÂ off the coast of Newfoundland in 2009.
TheÂ TSBÂ 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.
Editor Note – see also HeliHub.com accident page – 20-May-11 C-FJUR Bell 212 Slave Lake, Canada (1F)
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