The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) says it can’t determine why a helicopter crashed near the Campbell River airport last fall, killing a 46-year-old woman from Nanaimo.
In an investigation into the Oct. 1, 2017 crash, the TSB concluded both pilots were certified and qualified for the flight, weather conditions were not considered a factor in the fatal crash, and that the helicopter was maintained and certified in accordance with existing regulations.
“The cause of the loss of control and collision with terrain could not be determined,” the report says.
“As this and other occurrences have demonstrated, when cockpit or data recordings are not available to an investigation, the identification and communication of safety deficiencies to advance transportation safety may be precluded.”
The Robinson R44 chopper lost control and crashed into trees a little over a mile from the airport runway in Campbell River around 5 p.m.
The victim of the crash was remembered as a caring and devoted mother by friend Roger Jamieson, who spoke to Global News about a week after the crash.
“She’s so caring and so giving, always happy and always upbeat,” Jamieson said in an October 2017 interview.
He said 46-year-old Karen Coulter, a pilot and single mom, left behind one son.
“She was an amazing person… her son was her whole life,” he said.
In its report, the TSB reiterated a previous recommendation that the Department of Transport make the installation of lightweight flight recording systems mandatory for commercial and private operators, who are not currently required to carry them.
The emergency locator transmitter activated, but the signal wasn’t heard until almost an hour and a half after the aircraft went down.
~ With files from Emily Lazatin, Gord Macdonald and Kyle Benning