News release

Assignment of inexperienced pilot to high-risk spraying operations caused July 2012 helicopter accident in Angusville, Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba, 21 June 2013 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (A12C0084) into the controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) of a Bell 206B from Sunrise Helicopters Incorporated that occurred on 5 July 2012, near Angusville, Manitoba.

The pilot was completing a fungicide spraying operation near Angusville when the helicopter descended, contacted the crop, and struck the ground. The helicopter came to rest on its side with substantial damage. The pilot was taken to hospital with serious injuries; however, the fact that the pilot was wearing a helmet and used the 4-point harnesses likely enhanced the survivability of the impact.

The investigation determined that there was no malfunction in the aircraft system. It also determined that although certified and qualified for the flight in accordance with existing regulations, the pilot had an experience level that was low for the complexity of the assigned task. It was therefore unrealistic that the pilot could complete the high-risk spraying operation successfully.

Since the accident, all spray pilots employed by Sunrise Helicopters Incorporated must have a minimum of 2000 hours total flying time. Also, the experience of the pilot is now matched to the requirements of the spraying contract.

CFIT or collisions with land and water are a TSB Watchlist issue. Watch the TSB video!


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