Seatbelt Use Dominates Report Into Hydro One Chopper Crash

Hydro One Helicopter Crash Killed An Orillia Pilot

The Transportation Safety Board is asking the federal government to clarify the definition of a seatbelt to reduce the risk of death or injury, this in response to a helicopter crash that killed an Orillia man and three others nearly two years ago.

The report released today into the Hydro One chopper crash said the government must clarify the definition of a seatbelt in the Canadian Aviation Regulations so people know they need to wear both the lap strap and shoulder harness.

“While the use of both the shoulder harness and the lap strap may not have prevented the fatalities in this particular occurrence,  the proper use of safety belts is know to significantly reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of any survivable accident,” said Kathy Fox, chair of the Transportation Safety Board.

A preliminary investigation by the TSB found an improperly secured tool bag hit the rear rotor of the helicopter before it crashed, and two of the three passenger seatbelts were undone.

Among the victims was 39 year old James Baragar of Orillia, that according to Hydro One, had been a pilot with the company since 2009.

The crash happened near Tweed in December 2017.

According to the board, Hydro One has taken a number of corrective steps including reviewing its operations manual and procedures.

The federal government has 90 days to respond to the report.