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Air transportation safety investigation A22P0023

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 16 November 2023.

Table of contents

Engine failure and collision with terrain

Kestrel Helicopters Ltd.
Hughes Helicopters, Inc. 369D (helicopter), C-GJLC
Port McNeill Aerodrome, British Columbia, 25 NM ESE

View final report

The occurrence

On 06 April 2022, the Kestrel Helicopters Ltd. Hughes Helicopters, Inc. 369D helicopter (registration C-GJLC, serial number 1129D) was conducting slinging operations under visual flight rules 25 nautical miles east-southeast of Port McNeill Aerodrome, British Columbia, with only the pilot on board. Shortly after releasing a bundle of cedar blocks, the aircraft experienced an engine failure. The pilot broadcasted a distress call on the radio at 0909 Pacific Daylight Time and, within a few seconds, the helicopter collided with terrain. The ground crew that was working with the pilot arrived at the accident site approximately 10 minutes thereafter. The pilot was fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter activated, and the signal was received by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria, British Columbia. A Canadian Armed Forces search and rescue helicopter and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police both responded to the scene.

Media materials

News release


Undetected defect on helicopter led to engine failure and collision with terrain near Port McNeill, British Columbia
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB is deploying a team of investigators following a collision with terrain of a helicopter near Sayward, BC

Richmond, British Columbia, 6 April 2022 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators following a collision with terrain of a helicopter near Sayward, BC. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Jessica Hamstra

Jessica Hamstra joined the Transportation Safety Board of Canada in 2019. Over the course of her aviation career, Ms. Hamstra has gained experience in numerous areas including flight training, medevac, charters, and scheduled airline operations. She has accumulated over 6000 hours of flight time on a variety of aircraft types, such as PA-28-140, C-180, King Air 100/200, Shorts 360, Dash 8, and Airbus A320.

Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.