Alberta helicopter pilot who died after crash ID'd

The 28-year-old pilot who died after a helicopter crash near Canmore, Alta., has been identified by RCMP as Matthew Goodine of B.C.
The pilot of a helicopter that crashed near Canmore, Alta., died from his injuries while being airlifted to hospital Friday. (CBC)

The 28-year-old pilot who died after a helicopter crash near Canmore, Alta., has been identified by RCMP as Matthew Goodine of Prince George, British Columbia.

After the crash early morning Friday, the pilot succumbed to his injuries while waiting to be airlifted to a hospital in Calgary. Rescuers were delayed by snow and winds and took several hours to reach the crash site.

The passengers — two couples from Britain — survived. They were treated at hospitals in Canmore and Calgary for non-life threatening injuries and released.

The helicopter, operated by Kananaskis Heli Tours, went down in a remote part of Grotto Mountain around 10:30 a.m. MT Friday. Shortly after the crash, a heavy snowfall began. 

Canmore Mounties say they didn't hear about what happened until two hours after the crash.

Const. Sabrina Clayton said authorities do not know what caused the fatal crash.

"At the time the weather was favourable. However, it had just started to snow and 15 minutes after the crash the snow was quite heavy in the area," she said.

Matthew Goodine, 28, of Prince George, B.C., died after his helicopter crashed near Canmore. (Facebook)

Clayton said emergency service personnel from Kananaskis reached the remote site by helicopter, then had to battle high winds and snow, along with the rugged terrain, to get the crash victims out.

Rescuers rappelled from the chopper, put the survivors in slings, then flew them out.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

It could be early next week before investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada arrive at the site, just east of Canmore. Stormy weather is expected in the area for the next couple of days.

With files from the Canadian Press