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Author Topic: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations  (Read 1037 times)
Heli-Free North Cascades
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Posts: 611


Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« on: 12/15/17, 02:32 PM »

Last year I started a thread where I expressed concern about the local helicopter ski operations helicopter intentionally placing itself into close proximity to myself and my wife.

The helicopter pilot purposely placed myself and my wife at increased risk of harm and that is unacceptable.

Our local  forest service, up until now, has been unable to mitigate that Hazard and others which they are required to do according to law. In fact I would say they refuse to mitigate this hazard as required by law. I know because we've tried and tried and will continue trying until this issue gets into a Federal court of law in front of a judge.


I was ridiculed on that thread by the usual TAY suspects with a, to put it politely, that can't happen attitude. That thread was locked down.

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=37630.0;all

Well the facts are not consistent with those TAY heckler's opinion according to this accident report that was posted on a helicopter forum.

So how common are helicopter accidents in the mountains? Well I intend to do some research and find out.


https://forums.verticalmag.com/topic/22921-heli-ski-accident/

CADORS: Report



Record # 1
CADORS Number:

2016P0400

Occurrence Category(ies):



Loss of control - inflight
Unknown or undetermined



Occurrence Information
Occurrence Type:

Accident

Occurrence Date:
"2016-03-31


Narrative:


TSB#A16P0045: C-FBLW, a TRK Helicopters Aerospatiale AS350 BA helicopter, was operated under contract to SKEENA Heli-Ski from the Bear Creek Lodge, BC, about 82 nautical miles north west of Smithers, BC. The flight was returning to base camp in the late afternoon with a pilot and 6 passengers on board. As the pilot was maneuvering the helicopter close to the steepening terrain, the cyclic control was moved forward. The nose of the helicopter pitched down and the speed increased to Vne (+/-). The pilot then moved the cyclic back and left, however the helicopter rolled right and pitched up. The cyclic stick was difficult to move, and the helicopter collided with terrain on a steep snow covered slope. The main rotor blades cut a swath through the deep snowpack on the left side, and continued to turn until the pilot shut down the engine (Honeywell LTS 101-700D-2) and applied the rotor brake. All occupants appeared uninjured and expedited egress to the left side due to the steep, downhill slope on the right side. The helicopter was substantially damaged, but the ELT was not triggered to send out an emergency signal."
« Last Edit: 12/15/17, 02:53 PM by freeski » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
Heli-Free North Cascades
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Posts: 611


Re: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« Reply #1 on: 12/15/17, 08:36 PM »

31-Jan-16 N215KA Bell 212 Nakusp, Canada

The pilot was attempting to land on a marked heliski landing site on a ski run called “Nicole”. This was the second landing of the day at this location; the helicopter was carrying 10 guests, 2 guides and the pilot. The first approach was abandoned due to skiers from a previous group waiting on the landing site. On the second approach, visibility was reduced in fog and blown-up snow. The pilot still had the site markers and skiers in sight when it became apparent that the helicopter could not come to a complete hover and touch down would result in a run-on landing. The helicopter touched down on the pilot’s right-hand side due to skiers near the left side of the site. With some forward momentum and sloping ground to the right, the helicopter’s right-side skid dug into the soft snow, resulting in the helicopter rolling over to the right side. The pilot pulled both fire T-handles and exited the aircraft while the guides were assisting guests out from the back seats. There were no injuries or fire.

CADORS 2016P0091

DateJanuary 31, 2016RegN215KAMakeBellModelB212MSN30651Lo cation15 nautical miles east of Nakusp, BC (CAQ5)CountryCanadaCivilMilitaryCivilOperatorA lpine-Helicopters
Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
Heli-Free North Cascades
Member
Offline

Posts: 611


Re: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« Reply #2 on: 12/15/17, 08:42 PM »

02-Mar-15 C-GLVI Bell 205 Revelstoke, Canada

The Pilot was repositioning 12 passengers from the bottom to the top of the Ghosts Drimie ski run. Upon departure, the Pilot elected to take-off downhill and downwind due to the terrain. The aircraft started to settle as it transited across a field and entered a ‘snowball’ at which time the pilot lost visual reference. The main rotor blades struck a tree and the helicopter touched down in the snow, remaining upright. There was substantial damage to the helicopter but there were no injuries.

CADORS 2015P0420

DateMarch 2, 2015RegC-GLVIMakeBellModelB205MSN30209Location11 NM Southeast of Revelstoke, BCCountryCanadaCivilMilitaryCivilOperato rMustang-Helicopters
Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
Heli-Free North Cascades
Member
Offline

Posts: 611


Re: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« Reply #3 on: 12/15/17, 08:44 PM »

11-Feb-15 C-FBCW Bell 206 Sprout Mountain, Canada

Heliski operation landing atop Sprout Mountain with 2 pax in an area cleared of snow accumulation, when the main rotor struck a nearby cabin. The helicopter tail section was severed but the helicopter remained upright and all occupants exited uninjured. The area which had been prepared for the arrival of the helicopter was located beside the helipad where the pilot expected to land; it resulted in a confined space for landing.

CADORS 2015P0197

DateFebruary 11, 2015RegC-FBCWMakeBellModelB206MSN3296LocationSprout Mountain, BCCountryCanadaCivilMilitaryCivilOperato rSpearhead-Aviation
Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
Heli-Free North Cascades
Member
Offline

Posts: 611


Re: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« Reply #4 on: 12/15/17, 08:44 PM »

05-Feb-15 C-FAHI Bell 407 Revelstoke, Canada

conducting heliski operations with one pilot and five passengers aboard. During a run-on downwind landing, the main rotor contacted the helicopters tail boom. The tail rotor driveshaft cover was damaged and the tail rotor driveshaft was creased. The aircraft’s vertical winglets were also struck by the main rotor blades. The helicopter’s occupants were not injured. CADORS 2015P0188

DateFebruary 5, 2015RegC-FAHIMakeBellModelB407MSN53016Location42 NM N of Revelstoke, BCCountryCanadaCivilMilitaryCivilOperato rAlpine-Helicopters
Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
Heli-Free North Cascades
Member
Offline

Posts: 611


Re: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« Reply #5 on: 12/15/17, 08:59 PM »

02-Feb-11 C-GBGT Eurocopter AS350B2 Bob Quinn Lake, Canada

After dropping a group of skiers, helicopter was proceeding down, on the other side of the mountain ridge (due to local weather conditions) to the pick-up point. While en route, the helicopter encountered marginal VMC and attempted to descend through a break in the cloud. The helicopter contacted snow covered terrain and began rolling down the slope. The pilot was not injured. The helicopter received substantial damage. CADAORS ref 2011P0165

DateFebruary 2, 2011RegC-GBGTMakeEurocopterModelAS350MSN4015Locationvicinity of Bob Quinn Lake (BC) app coord 56 45N 130 03WCountryCanada
Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
Pinch
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Posts: 108


Re: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« Reply #6 on: 12/16/17, 08:15 AM »

This will make you crap yourself. Such a crazy crash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wkhJ-IBtbI
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Heli-Free North Cascades
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Posts: 611


Re: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« Reply #7 on: 12/19/17, 09:38 AM »

This will make you crap yourself. Such a crazy crash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wkhJ-IBtbI

thanks for posting that link. Hope that wasn't a fatal crash, but I don't know, that looks serious.

it's mind-boggling that the forest service believes that it's okay to mix helicopter operations with non-consenting Backcountry skiers out there seeking the soul of the mountains.

It is not my risk to assume when using public land, contrary to what the local FS District Ranger believes. But then again the forest service is a government- corporate partner with our local helicopter ski operation.

 But I guess that's the way bureaucratic job security manifests itself, blind yourself with bias
at the expense of Public Safety.

Unfortunately bias leads to ignorance. Take this TAY member quote from that my thread last year for example.


"also totally ridiculous to claim that the presence of the heli is endangering you, because it might fall out of the sky."

Heli- free North Cascades



Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
MW88888888
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Posts: 492


Re: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« Reply #8 on: 12/21/17, 08:11 AM »

I am not a big fan of mixed use heli and BC access.  My one encounter here in Colorado - was skiing out of a hut in the San Juans and watched a heli do avy work above an avy path run out that accesses routes my partner and I were contemplating.  Thank goodness we went another way, or we would have been in ground zero.  I doubt the heli outfit would have been looking for folks in the treed run out of their avy work.

It really pissed me off, but perhaps I am getting old and crotchety.  I think if you are elitist enough to pay someone else to work for your turns, then you should fly to where you won't interfere with those motivated to experience the mountains under their own steam.  But perhaps the forest service thinks we skinners and snowshoers don't make enough money for the gub'ment?  Dang, there I go again being cynical about the Babylon system. 
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Heli-Free North Cascades
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Posts: 611


Re: Helicopter crashes related to Heli-Ski operations
« Reply #9 on: 12/24/17, 10:14 AM »

I am not a big fan of mixed use heli and BC access.  My one encounter here in Colorado - was skiing out of a hut in the San Juans and watched a heli do avy work above an avy path run out that accesses routes my partner and I were contemplating.  Thank goodness we went another way, or we would have been in ground zero.  I doubt the heli outfit would have been looking for folks in the treed run out of their avy work.

It really pissed me off, but perhaps I am getting old and crotchety.  I think if you are elitist enough to pay someone else to work for your turns, then you should fly to where you won't interfere with those motivated to experience the mountains under their own steam.  But perhaps the forest service thinks we skinners and snowshoers don't make enough money for the gub'ment?  Dang, there I go again being cynical about the Babylon system. 
 
I totally agree with you. Dropping bombs above skiers for Avalanche control work was or still is a major public safety concern for the Wasatch mountains in Utah which resulted in a few near misses. Some of the human powered skiers there had a motto concerning the helicopter operations there, " we bomb the best and ski the rest".

In my area I'm trying to get separation between the helicopter operations and human-powered skiers , which is continuously growing in my area as well.

 I'm trying to get safe access to some of the Terrain that was taken away from us under the guise of shared-use for helicopter ski operations.

Imagine what would happen if I strolled into a Forest Service fire fighting helicopter operations area and just lingering around checking things out,with helicopters coming and going. Do you think the authorities there would kick me out of that area. You bet they would and rightfully so because it is a public safety concern.

However the forest service thinks it's okay to have helicopters landing and operating in close proximity to the General Public and dropping potential Avalanche triggers above us and allowing ski cutting and cornice drop Avalanche control work above us.

We already had one incident several years ago when a guide ski cut an avalanche path without ensuring that the Avalanche path was clear and the resulting Avalanche hit a friend of mine with the potential for a fatality.

 The forest service believes that's my risk to assume.

Unfortunately I've had to take the stance that maybe helicopter ski operations don't belong in an area that should be designated as Wilderness but isn't because the helicopter-ski Corporation has established and is essentially protecting motorized use designation for that area. An area that also happens to be designated as a roadless area, we all know it should be designated as wilderness.

Let's not forget that NCH, under the same special use permit, has already crashed totaled two helicopters and another helicopter had to be air lifted out because its tail rotor hit the snow upon Landing. For some reason that tail rotor hit is not considered to be a crash according to the District Ranger, but I count them as 3 crashes total.

I have one confirmed near Miss landing on a Backcountry skier and another one which I heard about but I haven't confirmed as of yet.

 All perfectly okay with our local Forest Service I guess.

But I what don't understand is if a helicopter company can meet the requirements to operate in a pristine Mountain environment, even after wreaking environmental Havoc upon the whitebark pine trees, how can the forest service  justify excluding a copper mine company who also meets those same requirements under the law.

The answer is they can't. Unfortunately Mazama will get its copper mine and unfortunately Pebble Creek up in Alaska (BLM land I believe) will suffer the same fate. And because corporations are able to mitigate risk we're  going to get more oil drilling in an Alaskan Wildlife Refuge.

 It's done under the guise of a concept called mitigation, as in mitigating the risk to Public Safety and the environment, but not eliminating it.

The result is that it's acceptable to endanger public safety, environment and our rights to Peaceful enjoyment of public land as long as money can be generated for private corporations in partnership with government bureaucracy job security, with public tax dollars paying for  government services to oversee the corporations and cleaning up the mess after they're done exhausting the resource.

I prefer the concept of Wilderness protection.



Heli-free North Cascades
« Last Edit: 12/24/17, 10:43 AM by freeski » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
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