Cyclone helicopters grounded after landing incident in Nova Scotia
The fleet of CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters used by the Royal Canadian Air Force has been grounded after an incident in Nova Scotia.
The manufacturer, Sikorsky, and the Air Force are searching for a mechanical fault which caused a landing incident on March 9, according to a 12 Wing Shearwater spokesperson.
According to Capt. Peter Ryan, the Cyclone was making its landing approach to 12 Wing following a test and evaluation flight when the aircraft suffered a momentary “loss of descent,” meaning it dropped suddenly.
Ryan said Friday, almost a month later, that the incident was minor, lasted only seconds and there were no injuries or damage. But he said they need to find out what caused the situation.
The Air Force grounded the Cyclones on March 12 and an investigation by Sikorsky and the RCAF continues.
Ryan said the “operation pause” does not impact the Air Force or Royal Canadian Navy’s capability, but it is being taken seriously and they will not jeopardize the safety of their air crews.
It’s not the first issue that’s occurred with the aircraft. In 2015, one of the helicopters had an unexpected parking issue causing it to be winched off a warship and prompted engineers to go back to the drawing board.
The choppers were acquired by Ottawa to replace the decades-old CH-124 Sea Kings, which started their retirement in 2015.
—With files from Ron Kronstein, Global News and The Canadian Press
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