An internationally recognised member of New Zealand’s mountaineering and skiing community who was critically injured in a helicopter crash in Canada last week has died.

Lewis Ainsworth, 35, was on board a helicopter as a heli-ski guide when the aircraft crashed in British Columbia on January 22.

He is the fourth person to die following the crash near the city of Terrace. Three others remain critically injured.

An investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is underway.

The cause of the crash is still unknown.

Ainsworth previously worked for Alpine Guides Aoraki Mt Cook, the Aoraki/Mount Cook search and rescue team, as a ski patroller, an avalanche forecaster, and as a hard ice glacier guide.

He also worked for Southern Lakes Heliski who paid tribute to him on its Facebook page.

“Lewis was an exceptional chief guide at Southern Lakes Heliski,” part of the post reads.

“We are grateful and undoubtedly better for having known Lewis and he will be sorely missed among the tight-knit alpine community.”

In a statement to Stuff, his family said they were “heartbroken” and that Ainsworth would be missed by all those who have been fortunate enough to know him and shared in his passion for being in the mountains.

Friend Jono Gillan told 1News Ainsworth was “a pretty driven individual, driven to succeed in his passion for exploring mountains and later taking people into the mountains as a guide”.

“He was a very motivated person to come and learn the skill in his early 20s after living in Auckland.”

Gillan said Ainsworth was “tenacious”.

“Working with Lewis had a real contagious energy about it… the fun he brought and the enjoyment.”

He also said Ainsworth loved his family dearly.

“He has a 10-year-old daughter and he also has a partner who lives in New Zealand, his parents also live in New Zealand and his brothers, fortunately many of those people were able to come and see him.”

Gillan said “it’s obviously tragic when someone dies at such a young age, particularly in the prime of their life” but there had been “overwhelming” support from “people that have come from very far afield to be with him in his last moments and to support his family”.

A farewell is planned for Ainsworth tomorrow in Canada, and then he will come home to New Zealand for another celebration of his life.

Ainsworth is survived by his partner Sarah, parents Marney and Joe, and his 10-year-old daughter.