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Tragic ground accident death in Smithers

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Terrible to read of an accident of this nature. Thoughts are with everyone concerned.


Helicopter incident in Smithers, B.C., kills maintenance worker

Transportation Safety Board investigating situation, which left another worker seriously hurt

CBC News · Posted: May 10, 2023 9:06 PM PDT | Last Updated: 11 hours ago
A small airport is seen in front of a mountain backdrop.
The fatal incident happened at Smithers Regional Airport. (Smithers Airport)

A helicopter rotating out of control in northern B.C. killed one worker and seriously injured another over the weekend, federal regulators said.

The Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday it is investigating a May 6 incident at Smithers Airport.

Spokesperson Liam MacDonald said the tragedy happened during maintenance work on the helicopter. The craft's engine was on and it began an uncontrollable yaw, or rotation.

As it spun, it struck two people on the ground.

"The pilot was able to shut down the engine and put the helicopter up right," said MacDonald.

"But unfortunately one of the maintenance workers was fatally injured and the other received serious injuries and was airlifted to hospital for treatment."

The aircraft belonged to Mustang Helicopters. The company's president, Frederic Allard, declined to comment on the incident when reached by phone, citing the ongoing TSB investigation.

MacDonald described the investigation as one with "low complexity" and findings generally applicable only to the incident itself.

WorkSafeBC said it is not involved in the investigation as it is under federal jurisdiction.

MacDonald said the goal is to conclude the investigation within about seven months.

With files from Betsy Trumpener and Nicole Oud

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Dang.... Brings back memories of drying runs on 412's in Doha Qatar in the evening. One fellow kept his feet off the pedals when he ran it to 100%. Wet pad, rotated 360 degrees TWICE. step ladders and engineers diving all over the place. GD T/R flew past my windscreen. That time lucky. Condolences to those that lost. Never let your guard down people....never!

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