Sunday, September 04, 2016

Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III, C-GVJT: Fatal accident occurred September 04, 2016 in Flatlands, Canada

NTSB Identification: CEN16WA358
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Sunday, September 04, 2016 in Flatlands, Canada
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration:
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Minor.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On September 4, 2016, about 1600 Atlantic Daylight Time, a Bell model 206B helicopter, Canadian registration C-GVJT, serial number 3492, collided with power lines during cruise flight before crashing into the Restigouche River near Flatlands, New Brunswick, Canada. The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The remaining passenger sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to and operated by 9288-1523 Québec Incorporated. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight from Charlo Airport (CYCL), Charlo, New Brunswick, to Rivière-du-Loup Airport (CYRI), Québec.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Government. Further information may be obtained from:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
200 Promenade du Portage
Place du Centre, 4th Floor
Gatineau, Québec
K1A 1K8

Phone: +1 819-994-3741
Fax: +1 819-997-2239

This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Singer Bob Bissonnette, right, posted this image on Instagram and Facebook on Saturday with the French-language caption: 'Headed to Caraquet, N.B. Quiet in the helicopter!!" Bissonnette and pilot Frederick Décoste were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday. 

Quebec hockey player-turned-singer Roberto (Bob) Bissonnette was killed in a helicopter crash near Campbellton, N.B., on Sunday. 

His death was confirmed by the Québec Capitals baseball team, of which Bissonnette was a shareholder. 

The pilot, Frederick Décoste, was also killed. Team president Michel Laplante was injured and is expected to survive. 

"The entire Capitals organization offers its sympathies to the families and relatives of the victims," the team said in a French-language statement.

Before his musical career, Bissonnette played for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III helicopter collided with some power lines at about 4 p.m. Sunday, then crashed into a land embankment and ultimately into the Restigouche River.

"This would be out along Route 11 in New Brunswick, just shy of the Quebec border," Cpl. Dan Smith said.

'There was pieces everywhere'

Patti Gallie told CBC News she saw the whole thing from her home in Flatlands just outside Campbellton. The crash happened about 150 metres from her house.

"Normally we hear helicopters all the time, because they fly up and down the river ... but today it was a noise that was something I hadn't heard before," she said.

"I went outside to see what it was and as I went outside, I looked downriver, and at that point the helicopter hit right into the power lines and there was a huge explosion and it fell right to the river and there was pieces everywhere."

The power went out instantly.

"I literally panicked. I was in shock. I tried to find my husband and I was like, 'Oh my God, you've got to do something. I'm sure there's people there,'" she said. "I couldn't believe it. ...  It was awful."

She said first-responders were on the scene within minutes.

TSB investigating ​

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) announced it would deploy a team of investigators to the scene on Monday. Two of the investigators are coming in from Dartmouth, N.S.

"They'll need to do a little bit of work, assess the accident, take photographs," TSB spokeswoman Julie Leroux said.

Smith said RCMP will hold the scene until board investigators arrive.

When asked whether the helicopter went down due to striking transmission lines, Smith said the sequence of the events are still unclear.

"We do know that it hit the lines and the terrain before winding up in the water," Smith said. 

Smith said RCMP did not go into the water at any point. He said local first responders performed the rescues.

Thousands lose power

Meghan Gerrish, a spokeswoman for NB Power, said the crash affected two transmission lines that run between Quebec and Eel River.

At the height of the power outages, Gerrish said there were about 14,000 customers without electricity. 

By 9:06 p.m. AT, there were still 2,540 customers dealing with outages.

"Specialized transmission crews are on site," Gerrish said.

"We don't foresee the rest of our customers being out of power for a great amount of time with this accident. We expect most, if not all, will be back online sometime tonight."


CAMPBELLTON, N.B. – The co-owner of the Capitales de Quebec baseball team was one of two people killed in a helicopter crash in northern New Brunswick Sunday afternoon.

The team’s Facebook page says Roberto Bissonnette, 35, and the chopper pilot, Frederick Decoste, both died in the crash.

The Facebook post adds that team president, Michel Laplant, was also on board and suffered non life-threatening injuries.

RCMP said the helicopter got tangled in some powerlines in the community of Flatlands, west of Campbellton along the Restigouche River.

They said the aircraft ran into an embankment and ended up in the water, but it wasn’t immediately clear if it went into the river or another body of water.

Police confirmed there were three people aboard, and that two were killed and the third injured, but they didn’t release any names.

There were no immediate details on the helicopter or who owned it.

The crash resulted in electricity being cut to some 14,000 customers in the area, but New Brunswick Power said that all had been reconnected by early Sunday evening.

The Transportation Safety Board has been called in to investigate the cause of the crash.

The Quebec City based Capitales de Quebec are members of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, known as the Can-Am League, which has teams in Eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

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