The board released its investigation report Tuesday into the crash last August of an Aberdeen Helicopters Ltd. aircraft that was under full power when it hit the upper part of a mountain northwest of Stewart, killing the pilot. (Facebook/Aberdeen Helicopters Ltd.)

The board released its investigation report Tuesday into the crash last August of an Aberdeen Helicopters Ltd. aircraft that was under full power when it hit the upper part of a mountain northwest of Stewart, killing the pilot. (Facebook/Aberdeen Helicopters Ltd.)

What caused a fatal B.C. helicopter crash last summer? We may never know, says TSB

Investigators found no indication of mechanical or structural problems with the aircraft

Heavy rain creating an optical illusion on the windshield of a helicopter could have played a role in a fatal crash in northwestern British Columbia last summer, but the Transportation Safety Board says without onboard recording devices it’s impossible to determine the exact cause.

The board released its investigation report Tuesday into the crash last August of an Aberdeen Helicopters Ltd. aircraft that was under full power when it hit the upper part of a mountain northwest of Stewart, killing the pilot.

The report finds the pilot was well-rested, highly trained and had more than 200 hours of flight time on the Airbus Helicopters AS 350 B2 when it went down.

There was also no indication of mechanical or structural problems with the aircraft and work moving sections of a drill rig from one area of an exploration site to another had been trouble-free in the hours before the crash.

Investigators point to sudden heavy rain as one possible reason for the crash, noting that rain, especially on sloping windshields, can create a “refraction error” that makes either the horizon or oncoming objects appear lower.

RELATED: Pilot dead after helicopter crash at mine in northern B.C., company confirms

But the report also says that after such an accident, an investigation “may never be able to determine the exact causes and contributing factors” unless the aircraft is equipped with an on-board recording device.

The board repeats its recommendation for a Department of Transport order making lightweight flight recording systems mandatory on commercial and private aircraft that aren’t currently required to have them installed.

Transport Canada is making “positive” progress on that recommendation, the board report says.

“However, until the regulations are finalized, the risks associated with the safety deficiency … will continue to exist.”

Helicopter crash

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

Police are advising of a scam actively happening in the Kootenay Boundary, one that involves a person trying to sell the victim gold for cash. Problem is, the gold is fake. Photo: Matt Flores on Unsplash
Fake gold scam re-surfaces in the Kootenay Boundary

Victims are approached in high-traffic areas by someone claiming to need emergency cash

Giant prize-winning pumpkins and squash are standard fare at the Pass Creek Fall Fair. Photo: Betsy Kline
Pass Creek Fall Fair cancelled for 2021

Event cancelled for second time

File photo
Help clean up Castlegar during Pitch-In week

Annual clean-up to take place April 18 - 26

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

Most Read