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Air transportation safety investigation A15C0130

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 17 January 2017.

Table of contents

Collision with terrain

Apex Helicopters Inc.
Robinson R44, C-GZFX
Foleyet, Ontario, 17 nm S

View final report

The occurrence

On 08 September 2015, at approximately 2015 Eastern Daylight Time, an Apex Helicopters Inc. Robinson R44 (registration C GZFX, serial number 0595) departed from a camp on Horwood Lake, Ontario, for the Foleyet Timber Camp, 17 nautical miles south of Foleyet, Ontario, with 1 pilot and 1 passenger on board. Approximately 3.1 nautical miles northwest of the Foleyet Timber Camp, the helicopter struck trees on elevated terrain. The occupants sustained fatal injuries. The helicopter was destroyed by impact forces. There was no post-impact fire. The helicopter was equipped with an emergency locator transmitter, but no signal was transmitted or detected by search and rescue agencies. The aircraft was not reported missing until the following day at approximately 1500, at which point search and rescue operations were initiated. The wreckage was discovered by a company aircraft on 11 September.

Media materials

Deployment notice


TSB deploying a team of investigators to a helicopter accident near Foleyet, Ontario

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to Foleyet, Ontario, where an Apex Helicopters R44 helicopter was involved in an accident south of Foleyet. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


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.

  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

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.