N1 Posted October 20, 2004 Report Share Posted October 20, 2004 Cormorant helicopters grounded, network says Associated Press CFB Greenwood, N.S. — All but essential flights of Canada's new military helicopters have been grounded because of the discovery of dangerous cracks on a tail rotor, Global News reported Tuesday. The fleet of 15 Cormorants fly out of CFB Trenton in Ontario, CFB Gander in Newfoundland and CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia. The first sign of cracks in the section that holds the tail rotor in place in the six-year-old helicopters was found on an aircraft in Newfoundland, Global reported. If the crack spreads enough, the blade will come off, forcing the helicopter to make an emergency landing. The crash of a similar helicopter operated by the British Royal Navy has been traced to cracks in the tail rotor, Global reported. As a result of the British crash, the Canadian military cancelled all training flights on the Cormorants for two months, the report said. Air Force headquarters in Winnipeg told Global it's confident the helicopters will continue to perform search-and-rescue missions without placing additional danger on air crews. Documents released earlier this month revealed the Cormorants require much more maintenance than originally believed, and the extra work is costing the air force millions of dollars. The helicopters were supposed to require about seven hours of maintenance for every hour of flight, based on information provided by the manufacturer, EH Industries. But the complex machines have become a technical challenge, taking up to 22 hours in the shop for each hour in the air. EH Industries has since revised its maintenance estimates upward, saying the aircraft initially needs about 12 hours for each hour of flight, but the number will fall to about 8.35 hours as experience levels increase. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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