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Air transportation safety investigation A21P0018

Updated in May 2021 : This investigation is in the report phase.

Table of contents

Loss of control

Airspan Helicopters B212, C-GNYI (helicopter)
Bowen Island, British Columbia

The occurrence

On , C-GNYI, a Bell 212 helicopter operated by Airspan Helicopters Ltd. was travelling from Sechelt Airport (CAP3), British Columbia, to Cypress Mountain Provincial Park, located in West Vancouver, British Columbia, to support a BC Hydro project. Two pilots were  on board. During the flight, the aircraft experienced a sudden and dramatic right roll and nose down pitch. Both pilots attempted to regain control of the aircraft. When they had done so, they observed warning lights indicating a hydraulic failure and an engine failure. A location on nearby Bowen Island was selected for an emergency landing. However, the aircraft was still difficult to control and the crew was unable to manoeuvre it to the desired location. During the descent, the aircraft began an uncommanded rotation, leading to a loss of control. The aircraft collided with trees and came to rest on a rocky ridge on the northwest corner of Bowen Island. Both occupants received minor injuries. There was no fire. The emergency locator transmitter functioned as designed. The TSB is investigating.

Media materials

Deployment notice


TSB deploying investigators to a helicopter accident on Bowen Island, British Columbia

Richmond, British Columbia, 5 March 2021 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) will deploy a team of investigators on Saturday to the site of a Bell 212 helicopter accident on Bowen Island, British Columbia. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Dan Clarke

Dan Clarke joined the TSB’s Air Investigations Branch as a Senior Technical Investigator in the Pacific Region in 2018. During his career, Mr. Clarke worked as an aircraft maintenance engineer – structures, for several fixed wing and rotary wing operations.

Mr. Clarke also has several years’ experience as a Quality Assurance Manager. Prior to joining the TSB, he worked for Transport Canada's Civil Aviation Branch for nine years, the first four years as an Airworthiness Inspector and the last five years as a Technical Team Lead.


Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 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.