Did this tool bag cause Hydro-One chopper crash?
Written By: Thursday, December 21st 2017

Damaged supply bag found at crash scene (TSB of Canada photo)

Transportation safety board investigators say a tool bag flew off a Hydro one helicopter and struck its tail rotor, just before it crashed last week near Tweed Ont.
The crash killed three Hydro Line employees from eastern Ontario, and the pilot 39-year-old James Barager, who was from the Orillia area.
The helicopter was based at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport.

Safety board investigators have released information on what has been learned so far:

The linemen were conducting maintenance work on high-power transmission lines.
As part of the work being conducted, a few bags used for carrying tools and supplies were carried externally on a platform extending out of the right side of the fuselage. These bags, when carried externally, are normally attached with double-lock carabiners.

Shortly before the accident, the pilot picked up the 3 linemen at the base of a tower and was transporting them to a nearby staging area.
While nearing the staging area, one of the bags that was being carried externally blew off the platform and, along with its attached carabiner, struck the tail rotor.
Shortly thereafter, while the pilot was attempting to land, the helicopter departed from controlled flight, all 3 passengers became separated from the helicopter while it was still airborne. The helicopter subsequently crashed nearby.

Examination of the aft seatbelts found that 2 of the 3 passengers seatbelts were unfastened.

Wreckage of helicopter at TSB lab. (TSB of Canada photo)