(Halifax) The Canadian Army’s CH-148 Cyclone marine helicopter fleet has been subjected to an unscheduled inspection after cracks appeared in the tails of the vast majority of these aircraft.
Of the 23 helicopters of this model, 19 have this problem. In an earlier statement, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) mentioned only four.
On Sunday, it confirmed that none of its helicopters, manufactured by US aircraft company Sikorsky, had been banned from flying. Military engineering experts are working with the company to repair the devices.
The cracks were discovered on November 26 on the first aircraft during a routine inspection at Base 443NS Naval Helicopter Squadron, Patricia Bay, British Columbia.
Sikorsky has a plan to fix the vulnerabilities. A spokesperson for each device said in an email that each device requires a unique approach to each repair that affects its components. The Royal Canadian Air Force expects the first aircraft to be repaired in the next few days.”
The office of Federal Defense Minister Anita Anand declined to comment on the situation, turning questions to the military.
The Royal Air Force indicated that only two of these aircraft did not have this defect. The other two units are undergoing long-term maintenance and will be checked at a later time.
An inspection of the entire Cyclone fleet was completed last week. The repairs are expected to be completed within the next few days.
This problem affected Operation Lentus, which was implemented to help flood victims in British Columbia.
The military had to deploy other devices, as did the county and other emergency services partners.
Typhoon helicopters are usually deployed on Canadian frigates and are used for search and rescue, surveillance and anti-submarine warfare.
On April 29, 2020, a plane carrying six crew members crashed off the coast of Greece, killing all on board. Two separate internal Canadian Armed Forces investigations revealed that the autopilot had taken control of the helicopter as the pilot began turning around to land on his ship.
This change to the program was not direct, as it could have unintended consequences elsewhere in other systems, Troy Crosby, assistant deputy secretary of the Materials Cluster at the Department of National Defense, said last June.
Recently, the Cyclone had to make an emergency landing at Halifax Park before being towed to base.
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