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A helicopter pilot who died in a crash last year in northern Alberta was drunk at the time, the Transportation Safety Board has found.

The pilot, whose name was not released, was working for Gemini Helicopters, which was hired by an oil company to monitor well sites southwest of Fox Creek, Alta., the TSB said in its report released Friday.

On Jan. 27, 2013, he made a series of flights to well sites, but then made an "unauthorized flight," was staggering and smelling of alcohol when he picked up an "unauthorized passenger" then landed at a remote cabin. He dropped off the passenger and took off, flying "erratically" before crashing in a wooded area moments later, the report said.

The TSB found no issues with equipment or with weather conditions but said the pilot caused the main rotor to hit the chopper's cabin while operating the machine with a blood alcohol level of .35 -- more than four times the legal limit for driving. The legal limit for flying is zero.


Sun News : Chopper pilot was drunk when he died in northern Alberta crash