Helicopter Crash in Quebec: Three Seriously Injured, Aircraft Suffers Major Structural Damage
February 27, 2019

MONTREAL, QC – A disturbing helicopter crash on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, has left three people, including the pilot, in serious condition and the helicopter severely damaged. The incident occurred in Quebec, during a flight from Montreal to Saint-Hubert.

The helicopter, a 2018 Robinson R44 Raven I, registered as C-GFLR, was reportedly halfway through its journey when the crash occurred under circumstances still under investigation. The aircraft suffered major structural damage, making the cause of the crash difficult to immediately determine.

The pilot and two passengers were immediately rushed to a local hospital, suffering serious injuries. Their identities have been withheld until family members have been notified.

The Robinson R44, a light, single-engine helicopter, is widely used around the world for both commercial and private flights. It’s a popular choice due to its relative ease of use, operational cost, and performance characteristics. This particular helicopter, registered under tail number C-GFLR, was reportedly well-maintained and had no previously reported issues, according to the initial inspection.

“We’re currently working with local authorities and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to investigate the accident,” said a spokesperson for the helicopter charter company. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and their families at this time. The aircraft sustained major damage, but our focus right now is on the well-being of those involved.”

The exact cause of the crash remains unknown. Preliminary reports suggest there were no severe weather conditions that could have contributed to the incident. However, helicopter flights, especially in such cold climates as Quebec, are known to pose significant risks and challenges.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has sent a team of investigators to the crash site to investigate the cause of the crash and the extent of the structural damage to the helicopter. The TSB’s mission is to advance transportation safety by investigating occurrences in all modes of transportation.

The incident marks the second Robinson R44 crash in Canada in recent months, renewing discussions about the safety of the aviation industry and regulations in the country.

The helicopter industry, particularly the private charter sector, has been under close scrutiny following recent accidents across the globe. These accidents have underscored the need for improved safety measures and more rigorous maintenance and pilot training protocols.

In the wake of this incident, industry experts have called for a comprehensive review of the country’s safety regulations for helicopters. They also underscored the importance of regular maintenance and adherence to safety protocols to prevent such tragic events.

“We need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to prevent accidents like this,” said Pierre Bourgeois, a Montreal-based aviation expert. “While it is too soon to speculate on the cause of this crash, it is a stark reminder of the risks associated with helicopter travel.”

The investigation is still ongoing, with more information to be released as it becomes available.

Reporting by Jeanne D’Arc, Montreal Gazette.