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TSB finds defect in beacon on helicopter that crashed in Quebec, killing Savoura president and son

The wreckage of a Robinson R44 helicopter is shown in near Lac Valtrie, Que., in this July 2019 handout photo.
The wreckage of a Robinson R44 helicopter is shown in near Lac Valtrie, Que., in this July 2019 handout photo. Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is suggesting periodic inspections of emergency locator transmitters after finding a defect in the one aboard a helicopter that crashed in Quebec last summer, killing a businessman and his son.

An advisory letter released today says after taking a closer look at the switch, the TSB found the locking latches between the “Off” and “Arm” positions were broken, allowing the switch to flip freely between the two.

READ MORE: Funeral of Savoura’s Stéphane Roy and son held in Saint-Jérôme

Stéphane Roy and his 14-year-old son Justin were reported missing on July 11 after failing to return home from a fishing trip in Lac-De La Bidière, a remote lake about 250 kilometres north of Montreal.

Their bodies were found two weeks later, after the crashed chopper was spotted around Lac Valtrie, just south of Lac-De La Bidière.

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In August, the board noted the ELT on Roy’s Robinson R-44 helicopter was functional but in the “Off” position.

READ MORE: Search continues for Savoura president and his son after helicopter goes missing in Quebec

Investigators subsequently performed impact tests that showed the switch flipped to “Off” with minimal impact force.

The TSB report says an inspection of the helicopter on April 1, 2019, did not detect the problem.

Roy was the founder and owner of Les Serres Sagami, which produces greenhouse-grown tomatoes under the Savoura brand.