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Air transportation safety investigation A18Q0186

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 20 January 2020.

Table of contents

Collision with terrain

Eurocopter EC120B (helicopter), C-FSII
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, 5 NM W
19 November 2018

View final report

The occurrence

On 19 November 2018, at 1022 Eastern Standard Time, a student pilot, flying solo in his privately owned Eurocopter EC120B helicopter (registration C-FSII, serial number 1473), took off from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, heading to the Mirabel Hélico heliport, near Mirabel, Quebec, where his flight instructor was expecting him to arrive at approximately 1300. At 1320, because the helicopter had not yet arrived and had not communicated since the last call, the instructor contacted the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario, to report that C-FSII had not arrived at its destination. No emergency locator transmitter signal was detected. A Canadian Forces Hercules CC130 aircraft and Griffon CH146 helicopter began a search. The helicopter was found at 1604 the next day, 20 November 2018, in a wooded area on the side of a hill, approximately 5 nautical miles west of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec. The helicopter had sustained substantial damage as a result of the impact, but there was no post-impact fire. The student pilot received fatal injuries.

Media materials

News release


Deteriorating weather, insufficient student supervision led to fatal collision with terrain of a helicopter in November 2018
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators to helicopter accident west of Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec

Dorval, Quebec, 21 November 2018 - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is deploying a team of investigators to the site of a fatal accident involving a Eurocopter EC120 helicopter west of Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Kristina Schoos

Kristina Schoos has more than 15 years’ experience as a helicopter pilot with various 702 and 703 operators, during which she has accumulated more than 6000 hours’ flying time across the country on 6 different types of helicopters, including the Bell 206 and Aerospatiale AS350. In the course of her career, she has been responsible for flight and ground training and has worked as assistant chief-pilot. Ms. Schoos also holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.


  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.