Aviation news release 2012

Carburetor icing most likely caused the November 2011 Waterloo helicopter crash

Gatineau, Quebec, 05 September 2012 — Citing engine failure as the cause of a Robinson R22 helicopter crash in November of 2011, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its report (A11O0222) on the accident near the Region of Waterloo International Airport, in Waterloo, Ontario.

"Environmental conditions were conducive to serious carburetor icing," said Ewan Tasker, Investigator-in-Charge. "There were no pre-impact mechanical failures or system malfunctions that would have contributed to this accident, so the ice accumulation likely led to engine failure."

On 28 November 2011, the helicopter was departing the Region of Waterloo International Airport, Ontario, for a local training flight with a student and instructor on board. Approximately 1 minute after take-off, the helicopter crashed in a drainage swamp on airport property, fatally injuring the instructor and seriously injuring the student.

Following a series of accidents and incidents, the Robinson Helicopter Company issued safety notices to its operators to reduce the likelihood of carburetor icing. These are published on its website and at the back of the pilot's operating handbook.


The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation 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.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053
Email: media@tsb.gc.ca