Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Aviators

A lot of interesting aviation stories coming out of the Bulkley Valley lately, including this one:

Bad weather in the Telkwa Pass on July 20 finally forced a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter to land on the shoulder of Hwy 16 after running out of fuel.
The giant UH-60L Black Hawk belonging to the Alaska Army National Guard was en route from California to Alaska when it met with heavy headwinds resulting in the chopper consuming more fuel than anticipated, said Major Mike Haller of the Alaska Army National Guard.
Severe head winds developed and the crew decided to divert to Prince Rupert. The weather worsened preventing the helicopter from making it through the Telkwa Pass and the crew opted to head for the Terrace airport, Maj. Haller says. With the helicopter running dangerously low on fuel, the pilot landed the helicopter astride the busy highway about 30 kilometres east of Terrace near the tiny community of Usk.

Earlier on in that article, the NT Air plane that crashed outside of Squamish is mentioned. From what my sources tell me, the plane did not have its Cockpit Voice Recorder, so investigators are pretty much stumped as to what really happened in the last moments of the flight. In those types of planes, the CVR is removed once a year for monitoring and refurbishing. Unfortunately, it was taken out the day the flight took off from Vancouver, on its way to Smithers. It was scheduled to be put back in upon its return. We may never know what caused the crash.
Pilot Michael Black's funeral was yesterday in Kelowna. A large crowd came out to remember him.

He was a good guy and had lots of friends. He will be missed.