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Sudbury pilot dies in helicopter crash north of Toronto

Jim Armstrong worked for Essential Helicopters in North Bay
Jim Armstrong, a pilot formerly from Sudbury, died in a helicopter crash north of Toronto on Sept. 25. (Supplied)

A pilot formerly from Sudbury died in a helicopter crash north of Toronto on Sept. 25.

Jim Armstrong's helicopter crashed in the Stouffville area. He was a pilot for Essential Helicopters in North Bay, which confirmed the crash on its Facebook page. He worked at Essential Helicopters in North Bay since 2010 and has been a helicopter pilot since 1998. 

“It has been confirmed that one of our aircraft and a senior pilot were involved in a crash yesterday - Sept 25,” the post states. “We are deeply saddened to have lost a longtime friend, colleague and experienced pilot. We are working closely with the Transportation Safety Board and as such will not be commenting further. We would like to thank all who have reached out to us to offer support. Ours is an amazing industry.”

Friends of Armstrong began mourning his death as early as Tuesday night.

“So devastated!!!! longtime friend Jim Armstrong was in a tragic helicopter accident today,” said Tamara Hyland on Facebook Tuesday night.

“I know many of my friends on Facebook know him well and I am sorry to be the bearer of this news. I am still in shock.. I love you so much Jimmy, why did this have to happen.”

Other friends say they will remember Armstrong for his smile and contagious laugh.

There will be a celebration of life in Sudbury on Sunday Sept. 30 from 1-4 p.m. It will be held at the Ambassador Hotel at the corner of Falconbridge Road and The Kingsway.

“Bring your stories and memories of an amazing person,” stated another post on Essential Helicopter's Facebook page. 

Essential is a helicopter pilot flight-training program with Canadore College. 

Armstrong reportedly left North Bay at 1:30 p.m. for Buttonville Airport, but around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon the helicopter went down in a rural area of Whitchurch-Stouffville north of Toronto, after York Regional Police say the helicopter lost contact with the Buttonville Airport based in Markham. 

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating.

-With files from


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