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Air transportation safety investigation A22P0019

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 2 November 2022.

Table of contents

Collision with terrain

Kootenay Valley Helicopters Ltd.
Airbus Helicopters AS350 B3, C-GWTQ
Nelson, British Columbia, 35 NM N

View final report

The occurrence

An Airbus Helicopters AS350 B3 was conducting avalanche control operations about 35 NM north of Nelson, British Columbia, with 1 pilot and 2 avalanche technicians on board. The helicopter was hovering near the snow- and ice-covered mountainside when the tail rotor contacted terrain or an object. The pilot immediately performed a forced landing. The helicopter impacted the snow pack and rolled over. The tail boom was struck and partially severed by the main rotor blades. All occupants were able to extricate themselves from the wreckage with only minor injuries. Another helicopter nearby retrieved the crew from the mountain.

Media materials

News release


March 2022 tail rotor strike and roll over in Kootenay Valley, British Columbia
Read the news release

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy joined the Aviation Investigations Branch at the TSB Pacific regional office as a technical investigator in June 1999. During his career, Mr. Murphy worked as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) on both fixed and rotary wing, and turbine engine aircraft. He advanced his knowledge of aircraft operations by completing a Private Pilot License (PPL) in 2009, and subsequently added ratings to this license.

Class of investigation

This is a class 4 investigation. These investigations are limited in scope, and while the final reports may contain limited analysis, they do not contain findings or recommendations. Class 4 investigations are generally completed within 220 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.