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Air transportation safety investigation A21W0001

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 11 May 2022.

Table of contents

Collision with terrain

Privately registered
Robinson R44 Raven II (Helicopter), C-FBGT
Grande Prairie, Alberta, 39 NM NE

View final report

The occurrence

At 1941 Mountain Standard Time on 01 January 2021, the privately registered Robinson Helicopter Company R44 Raven II helicopter (registration C-FBGT, serial number 13801) departed a farm 6 nautical miles south of Eaglesham/Delta Tango Field Aerodrome, Alberta, on a night visual flight rules flight to DeBolt, Alberta, approximately 30 nautical miles to the south-southwest. The pilot and 3 passengers were on board. At approximately 1954 Mountain Standard Time, the helicopter collided with terrain 10 nautical miles southwest of Eaglesham, Alberta (25.5 nautical miles northeast of DeBolt). The 4 occupants were fatally injured. The helicopter was destroyed and there was a post-impact fire. An emergency locator transmitter signal was received by the search and rescue satellite system.

Media materials

News release


Pilot decision making, deteriorating weather and spatial disorientation led to the January 2021 fatal helicopter accident near Grande Prairie, Alberta
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys team to fatal helicopter accident near Eaglesham, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, 2 January 2021 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of yesterday’s fatal accident involving a Robinson R44 helicopter near Eaglesham, Alberta. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Jared Doell

Jared Doell joined the Transportation Safety Board of Canada as an investigator in the air branch of the TSB in 2019. Mr. Doell got his start in the aviation industry in 1994, when after graduating from the Southern Institute of Technology, he began his career as an aircraft maintenance engineer. Mr. Doell worked primarily in the rotorcraft segment of the industry, and has some experience in general aviation and fixed wing commuter operations. His work took him all over western and northern Canada, ending up in the Edmonton area as the director of maintenance for a helicopter Approved Maintenance Facility. In 2011, Jared joined Transport Canada and worked as an inspector in the Airworthiness and Standards departments.

Mr. Doell also holds a private pilot’s licence and has had the opportunity to fly recreationally in Canada and the U.S.

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.