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No one injured in ‘minor’ mid-air collision northwest of Edmonton

No one injured in ‘minor’ mid-air collision northwest of Edmonton

No injuries, investigation underway after plane crash in northern Alberta

Three people were unharmed in a mid-air crash between a plane and a helicopter just outside Sturgeon County.

Morinville RCMP responded to a report of a mid-air collision between an airplane and a helicopter west of Sandy Beach in Lac Ste Anne County at approximately 10:30 a.m. on July 9. (Sandy Beach is just west of Alexander First Nation and approximately 32 km northwest of downtown St. Albert.)

Morinville RCMP Staff Sergeant Darcy McGunigal described the collision as “very minor,” with both aircraft able to land safely and no one injured.

“It looks like they just touched. The impact was so small that they both were able to make a safe, controlled landing.”

Investigators determined the collision involved a Bell 212 helicopter registered to LR Helicopters Inc. and a Cessna 172 registered to the Namao Flying Club, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of Villeneuve Airport, said Liam MacDonald of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. The helicopter’s pilot and sole occupant were able to land at a nearby field, while the instructor and student in the aircraft landed at Villeneuve Airport.

According to McGunigal, police have spoken to those involved in the collision but have not filed any charges.

Officials with the Transportation Safety Board are now investigating the matter, MacDonald said. While the board does not assign blame or impose fines or charges, its investigations can lead to reports and safety recommendations.

The Namao Flying Club is based at Villeneuve Airport and has been training pilots since 1972, according to its website. The club offers flying lessons and has four Cessna 172s of various types in its fleet.

LR Helicopters operates 15 helicopters for commercial, industrial, emergency response and pilot training purposes across Canada, its website states. It has bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.

The Government Gazette has asked the club and LR Helicopters for comment and will update this story if they respond.