By: David Pugliese, Defence Watch
All of the Canadian military’s aircraft, including CF-18 fighter jets, were temporarily restricted in their flight operations after concerns were raised about the type of engine oil that might have been used in the planes.
The oil had been mislabelled by a supplier, leading to worries that the wrong material had been used in aircraft engines, sources told the Ottawa Citizen.
The Royal Canadian Air Force confirmed Tuesday that temporary flight restrictions had been put on the aircraft fleets.
But David Lavallee, a spokesman for the RCAF, said no fleets were grounded.
He said the issue arose on Aug. 30 when a technician at 8 Wing in Trenton, Ont. discovered that an incorrect type of oil may have been used in an aircraft.
“Not knowing how widespread the problem was there was a temporary restriction placed on non-essential flying,” Lavallee explained. “That would include things like training flights, exercises and local area flying.”
Key air force roles such as operations for NORAD, international missions or search and rescue were not affected.
“Within 24 hours most of the fleets were cleared to resume full flying operations,” Lavallee said. “There are still some fleets with restrictions on non-essential flying.”
Those include four Aurora surveillance aircraft. Another C-17 transport is also affected but it was already in maintenance and was not flying.
“We’re in the process of clearing them and changing the oil and getting them ready to go,” Lavallee said. “We expect they’ll assume normal operations soon.”
Lavallee said the CF-18 fighter jets were among the first to be cleared for full flight.
The RCAF is in the process of investigating.
“We’re looking into it,” Lavallee said. “We’re trying into the dig into what exactly the cause of the problem was so we’re not able to speculate.”