Monday, April 10, 2017

RCAF Cyclone Helicopters Grounded

By: David Pugliese, The Ottawa Citizen 

The RCAF has ordered a temporary halt of Cyclone helicopter flight operations.

Crewmembers onboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) MONTREAL conduct vertical replenishment training with the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter during Exercise SPARTAN WARRIOR 16 in the Atlantic Ocean on October 31, 2016.

Photo: MCpl Jennifer Kusche, Canadian Forces Combat Camera 
“The Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division ordered a temporary pause of flight operations for the CH148 Cyclone, which remains in effect as of April 7, the RCAF noted in a statement.

“The order was issued after a Cyclone experienced a momentary change in the descent rate during a training flight on March 9. This momentary change self-corrected and the pilot safely landed the aircraft.”

The aircraft involved belongs to the Royal Canadian Air Force and was operated by a Royal Canadian Air Force crew.

“As a safety precaution, a temporary flight operations pause was ordered on March 12 for the fleet of CH148 Cyclones while the Royal Canadian Air Force, Director General Aerospace Equipment Program Management and Sikorsky work together to determine the root cause of the incident,” the RCAF noted in its statement.

Eleven CH148 Cyclones have been delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force of which three are operated by the RCAF for the purposes of operational testing and evaluation – it was one of these aircraft that experienced the momentary change in the descent rate.

“The duration of this pause will result in a delay in the overall CH148 Cyclone pilot training program, which is why we are highlighting this situation now,” the RCAF noted in its statement. “Maintenance training on the CH148 is not affected. We do not know at this point if the pause will have any impact on the overall program or timelines.”

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