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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 34612
Last updated: 14 March 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic UH1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 205A-1
Owner/operator:Northern Mountain Helicopters
Registration: C-GNMJ
C/n / msn: 30264
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 8
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Stikine River, near the Shakes Glacier, 25 miles E of Wrangell, Alaska -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Johnny Mountain, BC, Canada
Destination airport:Wrangell, Alaska (WRG/PAWG)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The helicopter was totally destroyed when it apparently flew into the ice covered Stikine River near the Shakes Glacier some 25 miles east of Wrangell, Alaska, whilst en route from Wrangell to the Johnny Mountain gold mine which is 55 miles east of the town.

Another helicopter was en route from Wrangell to the mine site at the same time. The pilot of the other helicopter made two attempts to penetrate the 'back side' of a snow squall and failed. After reversing course to return to Wrangell, that pilot sighted the wreckage of C-GNMJ.

Passengers who had flown to Wrangell aboard C-GNMJ on a previous trip said they had encountered snow squalls and whiteout conditions. At one point, one of the passengers believed the helicopter was in a hover. He said it then came out of the squall in a steep bank. A former employee reported that 'company officials pressured the pilots to complete their flights in spite of marginal weather conditions'.

The NTSB determined the probable cause to be: The pilot's continued VFR flight into IMC and his failure to maintain control of the helicopter due to spatial disorientation. Factors related to the accident were: company induced pressure to make the flight, the pilot's decision to initiate flight into known adverse weather conditions, his lack of instrument experience, his over confidence in his personal abilities, and the adverse weather condition


1. NTSB Identification: DEN90FA053 at

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
14-Apr-2016 17:05 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
24-Jun-2018 06:31 Anon. Updated [Departure airport]

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