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Helicopter pilot was drunk before fatal crash

By: The Canadian Press

 | Jul 04, 2014 - 2:30 PM |
FOX CREEK, Alta. - An investigation has determined a helicopter pilot was drunk when he died in a crash in northern Alberta last year.

A report by the Transportation Safety Board says the unnamed man had a blood alcohol level of about .35 — more than four times the legal limit for driving a vehicle.

The board says the pilot made flight control errors that caused the helicopter's main rotor blade to contact the cabin and precipitate an in-flight breakup.

The chopper, owned by Gemini Helicopters of Grande Prairie, was monitoring well sites went it went down in a wooded area near Fox Creek on Jan. 27, 2013.

The board says the pilot also didn't file a flight plan that day and made an unauthorized trip with a passenger.

He had dropped his only passenger at an oil site, before flying off erratically, then crashed five minutes later.

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