Thursday, November 01, 2018

Eurocopter AS 350B3 AStar, registered to and operated by Enbridge Energy Company Inc, N910S: Fatal accident occurred October 29, 2018 in Odanah, Ashland County, Wisconsin

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Safran helicopter engines; Grand Prairie, Texas
Airbus Helicopters; Grand Prairie, Texas
Enbridge, Superior, Wisconsin

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Odanah, WI
Accident Number: CEN19FA018
Date & Time: 10/29/2018, 1345 CDT
Registration: N910S
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS350
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation 

On October 29, 2018, about 1345 central standard time, an Airbus (Eurocopter) AS350B3 helicopter, N910S, impacted terrain near Odanah, Wisconsin. The commercial rated pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured and the helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Enbridge Energy Company, Inc, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 observation fight. The flight departed Gogebic-Iron County Airport (IWD), Ironwood, Michigan about 1300 for the pipeline patrol, en route to Superior, Wisconsin.

When the pilot did not show at his next destination, an ALNOT was issued for the overdue helicopter. The pilot was not in contact with air traffic control and there was no record of a distress call.

The helicopter wreckage was located about 22 miles west of IWD, in a remote, wooded area and about 200 yds north of the east-west pipeline route.

The helicopter impacted trees and terrain, before coming to rest in an upright position. A post-crash fire consumed most of the cabin. After an documentation of the accident site, the helicopter was recovered for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aerospatiale
Registration: N910S
Model/Series: AS350 B3
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Enbridge Energy Co Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Rotorcraft External Load (133) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: IWD
Observation Time: 1856 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 5°C / 2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 1600 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Ironwood, MI (IWD)
Destination: Madison, WI (MSN) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  46.527222, -90.602500 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Dean Bass, left, is shown in August with Evelyn Alemanni and Jim Baird, judges with Communities in Bloom. He took them for a helicopter ride as part of their visit to Sarnia. Bass, a helicopter pilot with Enbridge, died this week in a helicopter crash in a remote area of Wisconsin during a routine pipeline monitoring and inspection flight.

SARNIA — A Sarnia pilot who died in a helicopter crash Monday in Wisconsin is being remembered for his generosity.

Dean M. Bass, 64, worked for Enbridge and was conducting a routine pipeline inspection when his helicopter crashed in a remote part of Wisconsin, the pipeline company said.

Anne Marie Gillis, a Sarnia city-county councillor, said she got to know Bass through the contribution he and Enbridge made to the city’s Communities in Bloom project over that last several years.

Bass would take Communities in Bloom judges up for a helicopter tour as part of their visits to Sarnia.

“He was such a vibrant and very generous person,” Gillis said.

“He was good to many, many organizations, not just Communities in Bloom.”

Gillis said Bass just recently took Patti Ross, the city’s manager of parks, forestry and horticulture, up for a flight so she could take autumn photos of trees planted in the shape of a cross in Sarnia’s Heritage Park.

“He gave us a lot of his time,” Gillis said.

“We’re really going to miss him, and my heart goes out to his wife and his children, and certainly his Enbridge family, because they are grieving.”

The sheriff’s office in Ashland County, Wisc., said Bass’s helicopter was reported overdue Monday evening.

He had been flying from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and over the Birch Hill area of the Bad River Tribal Reservation but never arrived at Duluth International Airport, where he had been scheduled to make a brief stop, or his destination of Madison.

“The flight was part of our routine pipeline monitoring and inspection program,” Enbridge spokesperson Jennifer Smith said by e-mail.

Searches were launched after Bass was overdue and presumed missing and early Tuesday a potential crash site was spotted from the air in a remote portion of the First Nation.

Ashland County deputies and firefighters responded along with an Enbridge search team and located the crash site just before 6 a.m.

“Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family of our helicopter pilot and to his many friends and co-workers,” Smith said.

“We truly appreciate the swift response by the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department, Bad River Band and others.”

Smith said Wednesday the cause of the crash hadn’t been determined.

The incident is being investigated by the Ashland County Coroner’s Office, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Original article can be found here ➤

Ashland County Sheriff's Office
October 30 at 2:14 PM 
UPDATE: The pilot has been identified as Dean M Bass, age 64 from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

Date: 10/30/2018
Release: Immediate
Authority: Sheriff Michael Brennan
Re: Helicopter Crash

On October 29th, 2018 at approximately 8:15 P.M., the Ashland County Communications Center received a report of an overdue Enbridge helicopter that had been travelling westward from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The helicopter had been seen flying over the Birch Hill area of the Bad River Tribal Reservation early in the afternoon of the 29th but never arrived at Duluth International Airport, where it was to make a brief stop, or to Madison, which was its planned destination and due to arrive around 5:45 P.M.

Searches of local airports, within Ashland County as well as locations between Gogebic County Michigan and Douglas County Wisconsin, did not turn up the missing rotorcraft, nor did initial searches from the ground near the reported flight path.

Search efforts within Ashland County, coordinated between the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office, the Wisconsin Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, the United States Coast Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, Enbridge Inc., and Lake Superior Helicopters LLC, continued into the morning of October 30th.

At approximately 1:37 A.M., the Civil Air Patrol reported that a Lake Superior Helicopters’ craft, searching from the air, had located a potential crash site for the missing helicopter in a remote portion of the reservation. Ashland County Deputies along with the Bad River Fire Department, and the Ashland Fire Department were dispatched to that area and responded with members of the Enbridge search team.

Ground teams located the crash site just before 6:00 A.M. along with the body of the pilot, an Ontario man, believed to be the sole occupant of the crashed helicopter. Recovery efforts by the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office, Bad River Fire Department, Ashland Fire Department and the Enbridge team are ongoing. The name of the pilot is not being released at this time pending the confirmation of notification to family members.

No information is available at this time regarding the cause or nature of the incident. Further investigation will be conducted by the Ashland County Coroner’s Office, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Ashland County Sheriff's Office