Second fatal helicopter crash in a week kills pilot

Vancouver – A helicopter heading into a mining camp near Carmacks, Yukon, crashed on Saturday, killing the pilot. It was the second fatal mining-related helicopter crash in northwest Canada in less than a week.

Richard James Wood, from Merritt, was on his way to pick up a crew of geologists when his helicopter suddenly went down into the Yukon River. Several witnesses saw the chopper fall. It is not known if the machine exploded before hitting the water or if the pilot made any emergency communications prior to impact.

The Transportation Safety Board has two investigators working on the crash site. The name of the mining company involved has not yet been released.

Trans North Helicopters owned the machine. Wood had been a helicopter pilot for more than 30 years. In previous years he worked as a pilot and flight instructor for Valley Helicopters in Merritt and Chinook Helicopters in Abbotsford.

Wood’s body had not yet been recovered by Monday morning. He was the manager and pilot of Trans North’s seasonal base in Carmacks.

On August 6th a helicopter crash killed four people in northwest British Columbia. That helicopter, owned by Prism Helipcopters out of Pitt Meadows, was taking crew into Bravo Ventures‘ (BVG-V) Homestake Ridge property, near Alice Arm. The pilot and three passengers died when the helicopter went down into the fast-flowing Kitsault River, during a routine shift change. Bravo Ventures has temporarily halted its Homestake Ridge exploration program to allow workers time to grieve.


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