Aviation Investigation A15A0045

Collision with terrain

The occurrence

On July 30 2015, a Canadian Helicopters Ltd. Airbus AS350 BA had been flown to a remote communication tower site approximately 5 nm west-southwest of Rigolet, Newfoundland and Labrador, with a pilot and two passengers on board. At about 16:09 Atlantic Daylight Time, the helicopter lifted off the helipad at the tower site and struck a tower guy wire with the main rotor. The helicopter contacted the ground and came to rest on its right side. One passenger sustained fatal injuries. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the other passenger received minor injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial damage; the 406 emergency locator transmitter did not activate. A small amount of fuel was released; there was no post-crash fire. The accident occurred during daylight hours.

Map of the area


Photo of Murray Hamm

Murray Hamm joined the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) in 2010 as a Regional Senior Technical Investigator, in the TSB Air Investigations Branch, at the Atlantic regional office in Dartmouth (Nova Scotia).

Murray has more than 25 years of aviation experience working for several fixed wing and rotary wing operations as a licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, and also holds a Private Pilot License. Just prior to joining the TSB, Murray worked as a contracted employee of the Royal Canadian Air Force 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (3 CFFTS) at the Southport Aerospace Centre, located near Portage La Prairie (Manitoba), where he held the position of Fixed Wing Chief Engineer.


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Transportation Safety Board 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.


Deployment notices

TSB deploys a team to the site of a helicopter accident west of Rigolet, Newfoundland and Labrador
Read the deployment notice