Far West Helicopters Ltd. – Collision with Terrain

Incident Date: 2016-09-02

Aviation Investigation Report A16P0161

The Far West Helicopters Ltd. Bell 206B helicopter (registration C-FWHF, serial number 1525) was returning to a remote base camp situated 3.6 nautical miles south-southeast of Deception Mountain, British Columbia, at an elevation of 4100 feet above sea level. The flight took place during daylight hours, with only the pilot on board. At 1358 Pacific Daylight Time, as the helicopter was approaching a service pad, the pilot perceived a power fluctuation. In response, the pilot conducted a straight-in approach to the service pad and applied cyclic and collective control inputs to remain clear of trees. The helicopter pitched up to an extreme nose-high attitude. There was a popping or banging sound, and several pieces of debris separated from the helicopter. The helicopter began to descend and rotate to the left, eventually striking terrain approximately 200 feet northeast of the service pad. Base camp personnel witnessed the event and called 911. The pilot was seriously injured and was evacuated by air ambulance. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The emergency locator transmitter activated. There was no post-impact fire.

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