Blade failure, missed maintenance led to fatal Campbell River helicopter crash: TSB

Blade failure, missed maintenance led to fatal Campbell River helicopter crash: TSB
A helicopter that went down in a parking lot on Tyee Spit, near Campbell River, in 2019 that killed the pilot experienced an engine blade failure caused by maintenance issues, the Transportation Safety Board says.

The Transportation Safety Board says a fatal helicopter crash near Campbell River three years ago was caused by a failure in the main rotor blades.

The lone pilot Ed Wilcock, who was also the owner and a co-founder of E & B Helicopters Ltd., died when the chopper slammed into a building and burst into flames.

No one was hurt on the ground.

The safety board’s investigation found an engine power problem likely forced the pilot to make an emergency landing, but fatigue in the main rotor blades deformed them to the point the helicopter couldn’t remain airborne, leading to the crash.

The report says several opportunities to improve the safety of the flight had been missed.

It says the company’s owner was also the operations manager and directed how the maintenance department was to respond to a partial loss of engine power the week before.

“If company management routinely deviates from regulatory requirements, there is an increased risk that an unsupportive safety culture will develop, affecting the entire organization,” the safety board says in a statement.

Wilcock was a well-known community member who donated helicopter time for search and rescue events, among other incidents, friends told CHEK News at the time.

The TSB investigation into the helicopter crash is now considered complete.

Ed Wilcock, owner of E&B Helicopters in Campbell River, was killed when his helicopter went down at Tyee Spit in September 2019. A Transportation Safety Board investigation into the helicopter crash was released Thursday. (Submitted)


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