Aviation Investigation A15C0130

Collision with terrain

The occurrence

On 8 September 2015, at approximately 2000 Eastern daylight time, a C-GZFX Robinson R44 helicopter had departed a camp on Horwood Lake, Ontario, for a forestry camp near Rollo Lake, Ontario. The 15 mile flight should have taken approximately 10 minutes, however the helicopter did not arrive at its intended destination. Search and rescue operations were initiated the following day, when it was discovered that the helicopter was missing. On 11 September 2015, the aircraft was discovered approximately 17 nautical miles south of Foleyet, Ontario. The aircraft collided with terrain and the aircraft was destroyed. The two occupants sustained fatal injuries. The TSB is investigating.

Map of the area


Photo of Ross Peden

Ross Peden has 35 years of civil aviation experience. He joined the TSB in September 2001 as a Flight Operations investigator in the TSB central region office in Winnipeg Manitoba. Prior to joining the TSB, he worked as an airline pilot for different Canadian and foreign carriers, which included a 4 year stint in Sudan Africa and 3 years in Paris France. During that time, he flew different aircraft types, starting on small bush aircraft and eventually finishing commercial career on large jet aircraft. In 1996 he joined Transport Canada, as an Instrument procedures specialist, followed by a period with what was then called system safety.

Since joining the TSB, Mr. Peden has participated in several TSB investigations, including the 2005 Air France accident at Pearson Airport in Toronto.


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Transportation Safety Board 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.


Deployment notices

TSB deploying a team of investigators to a helicopter accident near Foleyet, Ontario
Read the deployment notice