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Air transportation safety investigation A23W0048

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 29 November 2023.

Table of contents

Hard landing

Range Helicopters Inc.
Airbus Helicopters AS350 B2 (helicopter), C-FAVX
Edson Airport (CYET), Alberta

View final report

The occurrence

An Airbus Helicopters AS350 B2, operated by Range Helicopters Inc, was returning to the Edson airport, Alberta, from a staging area supporting firefighting operations to the east of Edson. On approach to the airport, the pilot expedited his arrival due to incoming fixed-wing air traffic. On the final approach to landing, the helicopter entered a descent that resulted in a hard landing and roll-over.

The pilot sustained minor injuries, and the helicopter received significant damage. The engine continued to run after the impact but was eventually shut down. The emergency locator transmitter activated and the signal was received by monitoring services. There was no fire.

Media materials

News release


Investigation report: Hard landing at the Edson Airport, Alberta
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators following a helicopter accident at the Edson Airport, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, 5 May 2023 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of a helicopter accident involving an Airbus A350B2, at the Edson Airport, Alberta, on 4 May 2023. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Gerrit B. Vermeer

Gerrit B. Vermeer started his professional aviation career by joining the Mission Aviation Fellowship and moving to Southern Africa. During his time there, he served as a line pilot and acted as chief pilot and operations manager. Upon returning to Canada, Mr. Vermeer flew for a charter operator out of the Edmonton International Airport, serving the oil and gas industry. In 2008, he joined Transport Canada and, for five and a half years, worked as an inspector in the Enforcement Branch. He then transferred to the Operations department of the Prairie and Northern Region and, for the next year, served as a principle operations inspector for a number of northern operators.

Mr. Vermeer has a Bachelor’s degree in Mission Aviation Technology and currently holds a fixed wing airline transport pilot licence with approximately 6400 hours of flight time. He also holds a Canadian aircraft maintenance engineer license, as well as an airframe and powerplant technician license issued by the USA's Federal Aviation Administration.

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.