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Air transportation safety investigation A21Q0024

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

Table of contents

Loss of tail rotor and hard landing

Héli-Express Inc.
Airbus AS350 B2 Helicopter
Les Escoumins, Quebec

The occurrence

On , an Airbus AS350 B2 helicopter operated by Héli-Express Inc. was on a slinging flight along a high voltage line 1.7 NM north of Les Escoumins, Quebec. The tail rotor gearbox and tail rotor separated from the helicopter while in flight. The pilot was able to maneuver the helicopter to the ground where it landed hard. The emergency locator transmitter activated. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft, was injured. There was no post-impact fire. The TSB is investigating.

Media materials

Deployment notice


TSB deploys team of investigators to Les Escoumins, Quebec following a helicopter accident

Dorval, Quebec, 17 May 2021 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of an accident involving an Airbus Helicopters AS350 B2 in Les Escoumins, Quebec. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Simon St-Pierre

Simon St-Pierre joined the TSB team in 2019, and works as a regional senior investigator (Air) out of the Quebec regional office. Over the course of his career, Mr. St-Pierre has accumulated approximately 4500 hours of flight as pilot on different types of aircraft such as Beech C90A, Cessna 550, Jetstream 31 and multiple floatplanes. Since 2010, he has worked at Transport Canada as a Civil Aviation Safety Inspector and since 2014, he worked as a Technical Team Lead/Flight Operations.


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.