Aviation Investigation A16P0069

Collision with terrain

The occurrence

On 4 May 2016, a Highland Helicopters Bell 206 B departed Williams Lake (CYWL), British Columbia, and was carrying out scanning operations over a logged area about 112 nm NW of Prince George, British Columbia, when it spun to the right and descended into the ground. The helicopter was destroyed and the pilot was injured, but the two passengers appeared to have no injuries. All three were taken to hospital in Fort St. James, British Columbia. There was no post-impact fire.

Map of the area


Photo of Travis Shelongosky

Travis Shelongosky has been involved in aviation since childhood. The son of a Canadian Forces fighter pilot, he was building and flying model aircraft before he was a teenager, and hang gliding by age 15. Mr. Shelongosky is a licensed pilot and a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology's Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) program. After receiving his AME licence, he worked for Central Mountain Air and Harbour Air maintaining a variety of aircraft, including the Beech 1900, Douglas DC-3, de Havilland DHC-2 and DHC-3, and Cessna 180 and 185. He also built, flies and maintains an amateur-built aeroplane.

Mr. Shelongosky joined the TSB as a technical investigator in 1998 and became a senior investigator in 2001. He has participated in over 70 class 2 or 3 investigations, 15 of them as investigator-in-charge. During his tenure with the TSB, his aviation education has continued with on-the-job learning as well as numerous courses ranging from material failure analysis to investigative interviewing.


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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 team following a helicopter accident near Fort St. James, British Columbia
Read the deployment notice