Ship carrying helicopter wreckage arrives in St. John's
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 | 6:56 PM NT
A ship carrying wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in the North Atlantic, killing 17 people, docked in St. John's just after 4 p.m. NT Wednesday.
Only one person survived the crash on March 12.
CBC reporters Zach Goudie and Mark Quinn were on the scene as the Atlantic Osprey pulled into the harbour.
"The road here is lined with cars. People have come down to have a look at this themselves," said Quinn.
Both saw the helicopter debris, which was carried on a large basket at the back of the ship.
The basket had been constructed so that it could be lowered into the water to carry wreckage up to the surface.
Two remotely operated vehicles, tethered to the basket, gathered remnants of the helicopter underwater using mechanized arms.
"They're using tarps to drape around the outside," said Goudie. "I can see the silhouette [of the helicopter] and the rotor blades sticking out … so this is the main piece of the fuselage on board the Osprey."
The ship has been recovering wreckage, which is "in hundreds of pieces" at the crash site, about 65 kilometres southeast of St. John's, according to the Transportation Safety Board.
On Tuesday, the cockpit data recorder and the flight data recorder were retrieved intact and sent to Ottawa for analysis.
Having the main piece of the helicopter wreckage available allows investigators to confirm what they learn through the data recorders to paint a fuller and more accurate scenario of what went wrong, said Nick Stoss, a former Transportation Safety Board investigator from Ottawa.
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