Routine Inspections Discover Cracks On Almost All The Canadian CH-148 Cyclone Fleet

CH-148 cracks
File image of a Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. (Photo: Sikorsky/ Lockheed Martin)

The RCAF highlighted the value of the Airworthiness Program that caused the of discovery this concern, permitting the start of the immediate repair.

The Royal Canadian Air Force simply divulged the discovery of a worrying problem on nearly its whole fleet of Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopters. As pointed out in the declaration, fractures were discovered within the tail area of among the helicopters throughout a regular assessment, triggering the order of an immediate Special Inspection that resulted in the discovery of the very same issue on 19 out of the 23 helicopters in the fleet.

In their declaration, RCAF authorities stated that they are working carefully with Sikorsky to resolve this issue quickly and the repair work are currently in development, without the requirement to ground the Cyclone fleet or location the helicopters on a functional time out. “Sikorsky has a strategy to resolve the splitting, with each airplane needing a special technique to fix the afflicted elements,” a representative stated in an e-mail to journalism. “The Royal Canadian Air Force anticipates that the very first couple of airplane impacted by this problem will be fixed within the next couple of days.”

A regular evaluation on among our CH-148 Cyclone helicopters found fractures within the tail area of the airplane. A Special Inspection was instantly purchased throughout the fleet to verify the degree of the issue, and 19 out of 23 airplane were discovered to have these fractures.

— Royal Canadian Air Force (@RCAF_ARC) December 6, 2021

According to the reports, the tail fractures were very first spotted in a Cyclone helicopter throughout a regular examination on November 26, 2021 at 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, based in Patricia Bay (British Columbia). Out of the 4 helicopters not discussed in the overall, 2 were discovered to be untouched by the fractures, while 2 other helicopters are presently going through long-lasting upkeep and will be examined at a later date.

The discovery of the fractures had an effect likewise on Operation Lentus, the Canadian armed force’s relief effort that followed the current extensive flooding in British Columbia. The RCAF released for this operation the CH-148 Cyclone, the CH-149 Cormorant and the CH-146 Griffon, however the Cyclone had now to be changed by other properties.

A CH -148Cyclone helicopter practices landing treatments on Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Halifax off the coast of Nova Scotia on January27,2016( Photo: Ordinary Seaman Raymond Kwan/ Royal Canadian Navy )

Michael Byers, a teacher and defence policy expert at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver talked to byCBC, stated the fractures might be a sign of much bigger issues with the airplane:” Each of these helicopters costs more than $150million, and the earliest helicopter in the fleet is just 5 years of ages. The reality that there is this issue does raise some extremely major issues as to the quality of the helicopters, the security of the helicopters.”

Ken Hansen, an independent defence and security expert and previous navy leader which became part of the CH-148 program, stated to CBC that the fractures were most likely brought on by the substantial power that is utilized when the Cyclones land and remove.” The engines that Canada had actually taken into that airplane were25 percent more effective than the engines that remained in the style airplane, so that’s much more power and more force. Seemingly, there’s an issue with the structural strength of the airplane to endure that force.”

This appears to be the current of lots of issues that pestered the Cyclone. The CH- 148, a greatly tailored variation of the Sikorsky S-92 for maritime Search And Rescue objectives and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare objectives to be released on Canadian frigates, was selected in2004 to change the CH-124 Sea King. The program suffered more than a years of hold-ups, starting flight operations just in2018 The last helicopters out of28 purchased are anticipated to be provided by this year, with Full Operational Capability in2022

Last year, a CH -148Cyclone, running from the HMCS Fredericton frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy with the callsign “Stalker 22”, crashed in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece throughout a NATO monitoring operation. The occurrence triggered the death of all 6 workers on board, making it the biggest single-day death for Canada’s military considering that it participated in the war in Afghanistan.

Canadian authorities cautioned at the time there would be no” fast repair” to the software application problem determined as the main reason for the crash. 2 different internal evaluations by the Canadian Armed Forces discovered the auto-pilot on the helicopter took control of the airplane as the pilot was turning to land on HMCS Fredericton. The subsequent flight-safety evaluation discharged Sikorsky of any duty, stating “the kind of manoeuvre that Stalker 22’s pilot was trying to carry out was not defined in the armed force’s paperwork”.


Stefano D’Urso is a factor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering trainee and striving pilot. In his extra time he’s likewise an amateur air travel professional photographer and flight simulation lover.

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