Sunday, April 1, 2012

Canada: Tourist Helicopter Crashes Near Grotto Mt, Killing Pilot, Passengers Survive

Tourist helicopter pilot Matthew Goodine, 28, was killed on Friday (March 30) when his helicopter crashed near Grotto Mountain. Four British tourists (two men and two women) were also aboard the chopper at the time of the crash, but survived the event.

According to The Calgary Sun, the cause of the crash is unclear, although some officials believe that bad weather may have been attributed to the helicopter going down.

COMMENT: The helicopter tour company, Kananaskis Mountain Helicopters ( operates a fleet of 11 turbine helicopters: Bell 206 and A-Star 350. On an annual basis the company hosts more than 12,000 passengers on helicopter tours.

Passengers were on a 20-minute sight-seeing flight that included a one-hour of snow-shoeing in the South Ghost area in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, when the crash occurred. It is not known what caused the helicopter to crash. The company is fully cooperating with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada who will commence an post-accident investigation.

Helicopter tours now cater to tourists worldwide, but that does not mean that they are risk-free. According to industry data, helicopter accidents occur ten times more frequently than do accidents involving fixed-wing aircraft.

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