The air pressure has carried out its first flight of a CH-148 Cyclone since final spring’s lethal crash — and the Division of Nationwide Defence is signalling it is able to resume supply of the remaining maritime helicopters nonetheless on order.
A Cyclone belonging to 423 Squadron, primarily based in Shearwater, N.S., carried out a coaching flight close to Halifax Harbour on Monday — virtually one week after the army cleared the plane to renew operations.
Aircrew are being given refreshed coaching on avoiding the flight management software program drawback that introduced down a Cyclone off the coast of Greece on April 29, an accident that killed six members of the army.
Jessica Lamirande, a spokeswoman for the Division of Nationwide Defence (DND), stated CH-148 deliveries will resume shortly after the brand new flight procedures are formally authorised and all aircrew have acquired their further coaching.
The defect that introduced the plane down within the Ionian Sea brought about fatalities and now pilots should attempt to keep away from the fault. It is unacceptable.– Michael Byers, UBC
Out of the air pressure’s authentic order of 28 helicopters, roughly eight plane haven’t but been delivered. All through the supply course of, the army has been sending a few of its already delivered helicopters again to the producer, the Sikorsky Plane Company, for software program upgrades.
The ultimate plane with the ultimate software program configuration is because of be delivered by the tip of 2021, in response to Lockheed Martin, which now owns Sikorsky.
The investigation into the crash continues to be ongoing, however flight security investigators and the senior commander accountable for joint flying operations stated final week a mixture of a software program “bias” and the crew’s incapacity to react to the surprising strikes of the flight management laptop doubtless contributed to the tragedy on April 29.
The lead investigator, Col. John Alexander, stated the crash and the software program concern have been “fully unexpected.”
Sikorsky was requested to overview the flight management system for different potential issues and DND stated Tuesday that the corporate has investigated and confirmed that every one flight director management biases are “recognized and understood.”
Lamirande additionally insisted that — regardless of the accident, the flight restrictions and the questions round software program — the Cyclone continues to satisfy the air pressure’s efficiency necessities.
“The CH148 Digital Flight Management System (EFCS) offers the performance required” by the maritime helicopter specs, Lamirande stated in an e-mail to CBC Information.
The “revised working procedures and improved coaching will be certain that aircrew keep away from” the type of flight circumstances that brought about the crash and can educate them to “get well from surprising helicopter behaviour that could be related to flight director management bias,” she stated.
A defence skilled and long-time critic of the Cyclone program stated he was astounded by that assertion.
“They’re asking pilots to fly across the defect and to not set off it,” stated Michael Byers, a professor on the College of British Columbia who has tracked the Cyclone undertaking.
“The defect that introduced the plane down within the Ionian Sea brought about fatalities and now pilots should attempt to keep away from the fault. It is unacceptable.”
He additionally questioned the declare that Sikrosky has caught all the software program “biases,” arguing the corporate did not know concerning the deadly drawback till after the crash.
“I haven’t got a lot confidence they’ve considered every thing,” he stated, noting the Cyclone is a fight plane and could also be pushed past its limits in its capability as a submarine-hunting helicopter.
Byers stated he questions whether or not the Cyclones must be allowed again within the air so quickly — or in any respect.