Two injured in 'copter crash
Pilot, technician released from Stanton yesterday

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 02/97) - RCMP are investigating Sunday's helicopter crash in Gjoa Haven that sent two men to Stanton Regional Hospital in Yellowknife with minor injuries.

Pilot Larry Stanley and technician Wayne Thompson were released from hospital yesterday and have since flown back to Ontario.

The helicopter, owned by the Mississauga-based company Aerodat in Ontario, was in the central Arctic community completing nautical charts for the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

The service is a division of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Jon Biggar, supervisor for the project, said that the helicopter is likely a total loss.

"It looks like it's completely destroyed," he said. "But the people are OK, which is the main thing."

Stanley was trying to land the chopper when it started to experience hydraulic problems, said Biggar. He lost control of the machine when an electronic device suspended from the aircraft snagged in snow and pulled the 'copter to the ground.

"A bird suspended beneath them to record water depth snagged them," said Biggar.

"They were coming in for a landing when the bird was dragged along and then snagged in the snow and pulled the helicopter down."

This was the first trip to Gjoa Haven for the Canadian Hydrographic Service. A second crew will be in the community until April 7 or 8.