treetopflyer Posted September 29, 2005 Report Share Posted September 29, 2005 Search and Rescue helicopters temporarily redistributed WINNIPEG, Sept. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Two Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters will be temporarily redistributed to eastern Canada due to the decreased availability of the CH-149 Cormorant helicopter. As a result, the Cormorants used in SAR operations at 8 Wing Trenton will be temporarily replaced by the CH-146 Griffon helicopter by mid-October. This is expected to remain in effect until at least the Spring 2006 timeframe. This redistribution of aircraft will allow better management of the Cormorant fleet while availability challenges are being addressed. It will provide the remaining Cormorant squadrons with a sufficient number of available aircraft to better maintain air crews' skills and proficiency levels, while focusing the unique capabilities of the Cormorant on demanding coastal SAR missions. The CH-146 Griffon will become the primary helicopter to conduct SAR in the Trenton area of responsibility. Three Griffon helicopters will provide SAR response in the area spanning from Quebec City to Thunder Bay and from Canada's North to the Great Lakes area. These Griffons, which frequently conduct SAR missions, will be reallocated from other locations. Griffon operations at their home units will not be adversely impacted. The Commander 1 Canadian Air Division made this decision in order to provide the most effective and efficient use of available Cormorant helicopters across Canada. This was necessary because this fleet's availability has been affected by ongoing problems associated with cracks in its tail rotor assembly and a shortage of spares for various helicopter components, including main gearboxes and main rotor heads. This lack of available aircraft had the potential to impact the essential training of Cormorant air crews. "After assessing the situation, SAR helicopters will be redistributed temporarily to allow us more flexibility to conduct essential Cormorant training and to utilize the Cormorant for demanding coastal SAR missions," said Major-General Charles Bouchard, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division. "I am very confident that our well trained and professional crews will continue to provide a high level of SAR service across the country." DND continues to work towards developing a solution with AgustaWestland, the original equipment manufacturer, to determine the cause of cracking in the tail rotor assembly; and IMP Group Ltd., the aircraft maintenance contractor, to address spare parts availability. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.