Language selection

Air transportation safety investigation A21W0045

TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 7 September 2022.

Table of contents

In-flight breakup

Yellowhead Helicopters Ltd.
Bell Textron Inc. 212 (helicopter), C-GYHQ
Evansburg, Alberta, 4 NM WNW

View final report

The occurrence

On 28 June 2021, the Yellowhead Helicopters Ltd. Bell Textron Inc. model 212 helicopter (registration C-GYHQ, serial number 30933) was conducting operations in support of forest fire fighting efforts approximately 4 nautical miles west-northwest of Evansburg, Alberta. At approximately 1800 Mountain Daylight Time, the helicopter departed the staging area to complete a series of 3 flights transporting groups of forest fire fighters back to the staging area. The first 2 trips were completed uneventfully. During the last trip, as the helicopter was approaching the landing area to pick up the final group of fire fighters, one of the main rotor blades separated from the rotor head assembly. The second rotor blade and rotor head assembly then broke free from the helicopter and the helicopter crashed. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. There was a post-impact fire that destroyed the helicopter. A signal from the 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter was not received.

Media materials

News release


Part failure in the main rotor blade assembly resulted in 2021 fatal helicopter in-flight breakup near Evansburg, Alberta
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys team to helicopter accident near Evansburg, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, 29 June 2021 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators following an accident involving a Bell 212 helicopter near Evansburg, Alberta, that occurred on Monday 28 June, 2021. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Jeremy Warkentin

Jeremy Warkentin joined the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in 2017 as a Regional Senior Technical Investigator, in the Aviation Investigations Branch, at the regional office in Edmonton, Alberta.

Mr. Warkentin is a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) program and has more than 20 years of aviation experience working for several fixed wing operations as a licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Quality Assurance Manager and Base/Production Manager. He holds both an M1 and M2 license, and has experience on aircraft ranging in size from the Cessna 152 to the Airbus A321.

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.