Accident Eurocopter EC 120B Colibri C-FSII, 19 Nov 2018
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218197
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Time:19:19 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Eurocopter EC 120B Colibri
Registration: C-FSII
MSN: 1473
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:5 nm W of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec -   Canada
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Rouyn Airport, QC (YUY/CYUY)
Destination airport:Mirabel Hélico heliport
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A student pilot, flying solo in his privately owned Eurocopter EC120B helicopter, 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 13:00. At 13:20, 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 16:04 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.

The investigation found that the solo flight was authorized despite the weather not meeting the minimum acceptable conditions stipulated in the flight-training program, and that the supervision of the solo flight was inadequate, because updates on weather conditions, which included possible icing conditions, were not obtained. It is therefore highly likely that the student pilot encountered unfavourable weather conditions that forced him to fly at a very low altitude to maintain visual reference to the ground.

The solo training flight appears to have been planned without taking account of the student pilot’s actual skill and experience. The student pilot had 7.5 hours of solo flying experience, all within the vicinity of Rouyn-Noranda. The planned cross-country flight, however, would have taken the student pilot over unfamiliar, inhospitable terrain as well as into weather conditions that did not meet the flight training program’s criteria. If solo flights are allowed without considering the criteria of the flight-training program, the trainee’s proficiency level for the forecast weather conditions, and the difficulties along the flight route, there is a risk that trainees may find themselves in a situation that is beyond their abilities. Additionally, planning flights when icing conditions are forecasted in a helicopter that is not certified to fly under those conditions may have a negative impact on safety.

The student pilot was receiving flight training from a freelance flight instructor. Canadian regulations currently allow a person who does not hold a flight training unit operator certificate to operate a flight-training service in certain cases, such as when the trainee is the owner of the aircraft used for training. However, Transport Canada (TC) does not include freelance instructors in its oversight activities. If TC does not include freelance instructors in its oversight activities, there is a risk that poor practices and regulatory infractions could go undetected and corrected.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TSB Canada
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report


Photo: TSB Canada

Revision history:

21-Nov-2018 06:27 gerard57 Added
22-Nov-2018 18:29 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
22-Nov-2018 22:52 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Source]
02-Dec-2018 20:27 Geno Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
20-Jan-2020 15:21 harro Updated [Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Photo, Accident report, ]

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