Air transportation safety investigation A18O0134

Update: The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 25 March 2019.

Table of contents

Controlled flight into terrain

Essential Helicopters
Robinson R44 Raven II (helicopter), C-GMCT
Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, Ontario, 9 nm N

View final report

The occurrence

On , a Robinson R44 II helicopter, operated by Essential Helicopters, was on route southbound to Buttonville Municipal Airport from North Bay, Ontario, with the pilot as the sole occupant. While approaching the airport, the helicopter encountered instrument meteorological conditions and turned northbound away from the airport. The helicopter was found substantially damaged in a bush 9 NM north of the airport. The pilot was fatally injured.


Media materials

News releases

2019-03-25

Investigation report: 2018 collision with terrain involving a Robinson R44 II helicopter near Toronto, Ontario
Read the news release

Deployment notice

2018-09-25

TSB deploys a team of investigators to a helicopter crash north of Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, Ontario

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to a helicopter crash north of Toronto/Buttonville Airport, Ontario. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Daphne Boothe

Daphne Boothe has over 20 years of civil aviation experience. She joined the TSB in 2013 as an operations investigator in the Atlantic Region.

Before joining the TSB, Mrs. Boothe spent 10 years flying for 703/704 operators in Northwestern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, flying scheduled and charter flights.

Mrs. Boothe holds an Airline Transport License with over 6000 hours of flying experience and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 4 investigation. These are limited-scope investigations that may contain limited analysis, but do not include findings or recommendations. Class 4 investigations are generally completed within 200 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.

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