2020: Canadian Navy CH-148 in Greek Ionian Sea, wreck found.

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2020: Canadian Navy CH-148 in Greek Ionian Sea, wreck found.

Post by Stratofreighter »

...details are still rather sketchy, so far :|
https://abcnews.go.com/International/wi ... e-70411529
Last edited by Stratofreighter on 28 Jun 2020, 20:55, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 29apr2020: NATO helicopter missing over Greek Ionian Sea

Post by Stratofreighter »

...developments... :|
https://usnewstoday.live/the-wreckage-o ... ea-greece/
2020-04-29

The wreckage was found in the sea about 85 km from the island of Kefalonia,
in the Flight Information Region of Italy.

There were six people on board and their fate remains unknown.
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Re: 29apr2020 wreck found: NATO helicopter in Greek Ionian S

Post by Stratofreighter »

...follow
https://twitter.com/ItaMilRadar
Greek medias report that an RCAF Sikorsky CH-148 crashed, an hour ago, into the Ionian Sea west of the island of Cephalonia (in the Italian FIR).
Two frigates (Italian Navy and a Turkish Navy) are moving to the area.
The Italian Navy frigate arrived in the area of the crash.
One member of the RCAF helicopter crew found dead, the other five are still missing
`
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Re: 29apr2020 wreck found: Canadian CH-148 in Greek Ionian S

Post by Rockville »

The Canadian frigate mentioned would be HMCS Fredericton (337) as part of SNMG2.
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Re: 29apr2020 wreck found: Canadian CH-148 in Greek Ionian S

Post by Stratofreighter »

Rockville wrote:The Canadian frigate mentioned would be HMCS Fredericton (337) as part of SNMG2.
You are quite right, now officially confirmed indeed
https://twitter.com/CFOperations/status ... 7530013696
1/2 Developing situation regarding our CH-148 Cyclone,
deployed onboard HMCS FREDERICTON,
which is currently contributing to Op #REASSURANCE.
Contact was lost with the aircraft as it was participating in Allied exercises off the coast of Greece.
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Re: 29apr2020 wreck found: Canadian CH-148 in Greek Ionian S

Post by Starfighter_F-104G »

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Re: 29apr2020 debris found: Canadian CH-148 in Greek Ionian

Post by Stratofreighter »

...debris found, not sure if the main wreckage is already located. The Ionian Sea can be rather deep in places. :(

Press conference with Canadian PM Trudeau plus defence officials, currently.

https://twitter.com/yowflier/status/1255883726573260800
@HarjitSajjan
says that the helicopter's flight data and cockpit voice recorder have been recovered.
These could be key to the work by flight safety investigators,
who will depart from Canada today to the scene.
https://twitter.com/LisaHepfnerCHCH/sta ... 0837110791
Flight data and voice recorders have been recovered from the helicopter crash
and are being brought to Canada for investigation,
says General Jonathan Vance, Chief of Defence Staff.
@CHCHNews
HMCS Fredricton continues to search for the missing.
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Re: 29apr2020 debris found: Canadian CH-148 in Greek Ionian

Post by Stratofreighter »

https://twitter.com/LisaHepfnerCHCH/sta ... 9149135875
Recorders broke off from the wreckage of the helicopter,
and had beacons so they could be found.
The wreckage of the helicopter has not been found,
"there's a fairly sizable debris field," says General Vance.
https://twitter.com/NeetuGarcha/status/ ... 2094633985
General Vance says recorders broke away from helicopter,
floated & had beacon automatically set off.

Ship's crew could find that beacon.
As far as we know wreckage in about 3,000 metres of water in Ionian Sea
https://twitter.com/yowflier/status/1255884577278701569
@CDS_Canada_CEMD
confirms that the body of Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough
has been recovered and acknowledges
the worries of families of other missing personnel waiting for word.
https://twitter.com/yowflier/status/1255890301882978304
@CDS_Canada_CEMD
says the waters where the crash happened are 3,000 metres deep.
He said there is a sizable debris field on the surface of the water.
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Re: 29apr2020 debris found: Canadian CH-148 in Greek Ionian

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https://nationalpost.com/news/national/ ... 21d21142f4
May 11, 2020
5:07 PM EDT

The Canadian Forces doesn’t yet know where the wreckage of its Cyclone helicopter is
but discussions have been held with the U.S. military
about possibly using deep-sea submersibles in recovering the debris.
Defence sources, however,
say initial discussions have been held with the U.S. Navy which has the deep-sea capability to do the job.

Recovery of the wreckage, believed to be 3,000 metres below the surface, would be difficult and expensive.

The Cyclone helicopter crashed April 29 off the coast of Greece during a training mission.
It was returning to the Canadian frigate, HMCS Fredericton, when the crash occurred.
Six Canadian Forces personnel on board were killed.
https://nationalpost.com/news/national/ ... 21d21142f4
The body of Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough was recovered shortly after the crash.
In addition, partial human remains discovered in the aftermath of the incident
were identified on May 9 as being those of one of the Cyclone’s pilots,
Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald.

A side door and pieces of the helicopter’s fuselage have also been found.
A number of serving Canadian Forces personnel have also contacted this newspaper
to state that the Cyclone was conducting a high-speed, low altitude pass near HMCS Fredericton when the crash happened.

They said the reason for the fly-pass was so photographs could be taken of the helicopter.

Asked about whether those claims were accurate,
the Department of National Defence responded that,
“the investigation is underway and we will not be discussing information publicly
in order to ensure the integrity of the investigative efforts.”
https://nationalpost.com/news/national/ ... 21d21142f4
The Canadian Forces initially reported the Cyclone helicopter was missing after “contact” with HMCS Fredericton was lost,
appearing to suggest the aircraft was far from the warship when it crashed.

But CBC reported the Cyclone went down in full view of horrified crew members of HMCS Fredericton
who were preparing to receive it aboard the frigate.

DND confirmed May 4 that there were eyewitnesses to the crash
and those individuals will be interviewed as part of the investigation.

But during a May 7 news conference, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance seemed uncertain about whether there were witnesses.

“We’re not planning on proactively releasing what witnesses,
if there were – you know by the sounds of it, there may have been –
but we’re not going to be releasing that,” Vance said.
https://nationalpost.com/news/national/ ... 21d21142f4
A Royal Canadian Air Force flight safety team continues to investigate the circumstances of the crash.

The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the helicopter are now in Ottawa
where they will be examined as part of efforts to determine what caused the crash.

The Canadian military has imposed what it calls an “operational pause” on the Cyclone helicopter fleet
as it tries to rule out any fleet-wide problems in the maritime aircraft.
https://nationalpost.com/news/national/ ... 21d21142f4
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Re: 29apr2020 debris found: Canadian CH-148 in Greek Ionian

Post by Stratofreighter »

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadi ... -1.5587310
Searchers find wreckage, human remains at scene of Canadian Forces chopper crash

Drone submersible found the crash site 3,143 metres beneath the surface of the Ionian Sea

CBC News Posted: May 27, 2020 4:56 PM ET | Last Updated: May 28

The wreckage of a Canadian military helicopter and human remains
have been located on the bottom of the Ionian Sea by a U.S. Navy drone submersible.

The Department of National Defence issued a statement today
saying the recovery ship EDL Hercules arrived at the crash site
and the remotely-operated REMORA III quickly located the sunken CH-148 Cyclone helicopter,
about 220 nautical miles east of Catania, Italy.

The recovery and salvage drone located large pieces of the fuselage in 3,143 metres of water.

Human remains were also found "in the vicinity," said the statement,
but DND was unable to say whether they're the missing crew.

The search for more debris and remains will continue over the next few days.
The military said again that it will stay on the scene as long as possible to collect as much as it can.

The Cyclone maritime helicopter fleet has been effectively grounded since the accident.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadi ... -1.5587310
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Re: 29apr2020: Canadian CH-148 in Greek Ionian Sea, wreck fo

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https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cyclon ... -1.5603172
Cyclone chopper crash investigation focuses on 'aircraft system and human factors'

Posted: Jun 08, 2020 1:32 PM ET | Last Updated: June 11
Investigators filed a preliminary flight safety report at the end of May and released a vague public statement today.

That short summary confirmed what had been reported publicly already
— that the maritime helicopter was returning to HMCS Fredericton
when it passed the frigate and turned around for another "downwind leg" approach to the stern of the ship.

"During this final complex manoeuvring turn to close with the ship,
the aircraft did not respond as the crew would have anticipated," said the report.

"This event occurred at a low altitude, was unrecoverable
and the aircraft entered a high energy descent and impacted the water astern the ship."
Normally, a flight safety report gives an indication of what caused the crash.
This one concludes by saying "the investigation is focusing on aircraft systems and human factors."

In a statement, the Department of National Defence (DND) said that it uses such terminology when
"a cause may not be immediately clear."

The officer in charge of flight safety was equally vague.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has said it could be up to a year or more
before a final determination is made on what brought the aircraft down.

The reference to the aircraft not responding the way the crew "would have anticipated" is significant for two reasons.

It points to possible flight control problems that could be either mechanical or computer-related.

The Cyclone is a militarized version of the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter.
Unlike the civilian version,
the military Cyclone operates on what's known as a fly-by-wire (FWB) system.
Shawn Coyle, a former Canadian air force helicopter test pilot,
said he found the decision to install FBW technology on the Cyclones curious,
given the fact that the civilian version
has a conventional hydro mechanical flight control system with stabilization and autopilot features.

To make the technological leap to fly-by-wire,
where computers replace standard hydraulics and cables,
is "expensive and took a lot of time to get right," said Coyle,
who was also an accident investigator for Transport Canada and the author of several books.

"Someone figured they could convert an analogue system to a digital system
and consider all of the issues and failures associated with that."

The 2017 'glitch'

Some of those issues presented themselves as Sikorsky pushed to get the CH-148 into service.
During a 2017 training mission off Nova Scotia,
one of the helicopters experienced a software "glitch."

The malfunction forced all three flight control computers to shut down and reset momentarily.
The aircraft dropped about 500 feet :shock: before the pilot was able to recover and reset the system,
according to a source familiar with the incident.

The commander of 12 Wing at the time, Col. Peter Allan,
said on June 14, 2017 that the aircraft experienced a sudden and brief loss of altitude.

The air force disputes the claim the aircraft dropped 500 feet, but would not provide a figure. :|

"The pilots described this occurrence as similar to 'hitting a speed bump'
and stated that it was difficult to distinguish from turbulence," said Lt.-Col. Steve Neta in a statement.
"Any reference to a loss of 500 feet in altitude is incorrect."

The air force said the problem was corrected in a software update through the manufacturer.

Sikorsky won the contract to supply the Cyclones back in 2004
based on the pledge that it could create a military version of the S-92.
The result, according to the commander of the 1st Canadian Air Division,
was an almost entirely new aircraft.

"The CH-148 Cyclone is a very different machine than the S-92,"
Maj.-Gen. Alain Pelletier said at a recent briefing.

Delays and cost overruns

"It's not only a militarized version of the S-92 of the helicopter.
It's had a number of components, including its mission system —
that is the mission, the kit we brought aboard the helicopter to actually support the Royal Canadian Navy."

He called it a "cousin fleet" to the S-92.

The Cyclone's development was beset by delays and ballooning costs as the aircraft had to be certified.

Coyle said there would have been very few people in Canadian regulatory agencies at the time
"who would have done certification of [a] fly-by-wire flight control system on a helicopter."

The report released Monday also formally lays out the sequence of events,
which inevitably will lead to more public questions
about how forthright both the military and the Liberal government were in their initial response to the crash.

In the hours after the accident,
DND's only public confirmation of the accident was a statement that the frigate had "lost contact" with the aircraft
— a vague acknowledgement that left many believing that the helicopter had gone down
some distance from the warship.

In fact, it had crashed in full view of crew members on the flight deck,
including the landing signal officer.


A US Navy submersible, the Remora, was used to locate the wreckage of the Canadian Cyclone helicopter.

Pieces of wreckage and the remains of some of those killed
were retrieved recently from the bottom of the Ionian Sea with the help of a U.S. Navy salvage drone.

The Cyclone fleet, which is relatively new and is still being delivered by Sikorsky, has been grounded temporarily —
the military calls it an "operational pause".
The helicopters will stay on the ground while the investigation continues and a risk assessment is conducted.

Air force commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger said
a team of airworthiness experts is working closely to develop a plan to safely and methodically return the helicopters to active service.

"This is critical work and we will take the time to do it right," he said in a statement.
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Re: 2020: Canadian Navy CH-148 in Greek Ionian Sea, wreck fo

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https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cyclon ... -1.5624242
Cyclone returns to service for first time since deadly crash

Critic says DND is expecting flight crews to 'fly around the defect' in the Cyclone's design

CBC News
Posted: Jun 23, 2020 4:33 PM ET |
Last Updated: June 23

The air force has conducted its first flight of a CH-148 Cyclone
since last spring's deadly crash —
and the Department of National Defence is signalling it is ready to resume delivery
of the remaining maritime helicopters still on order.

A Cyclone belonging to 423 Squadron, based in Shearwater, N.S.,
conducted a training flight near Halifax Harbour on Monday —
almost one week after the military cleared the aircraft to resume operations.

Aircrew are being given refreshed training on avoiding the flight control software problem
that brought down a Cyclone off the coast of Greece on April 29,
an accident that killed six members of the military.

Jessica Lamirande, a spokeswoman for the Department of National Defence (DND),
said CH-148 deliveries will resume shortly after the new flight procedures are formally approved
and all aircrew have received their additional training.

The defect that brought the aircraft down in the Ionian Sea caused fatalities
and now pilots must try to avoid the fault. It's unacceptable.
- Michael Byers, UBC

Out of the air force's original order of 28 helicopters, roughly eight aircraft have not yet been delivered.

Throughout the delivery process,
the military has been sending some of its already delivered helicopters back to the manufacturer, the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation,
for software upgrades.

The final aircraft with the final software configuration is due to be delivered by the end of 2021,
according to Lockheed Martin, which now owns Sikorsky.

The investigation into the crash is still ongoing,
but flight safety investigators and the senior commander in charge of joint flying operations said last week
a combination of a software "bias" :!:
and the crew's inability to react to the unexpected moves of the flight control computer :!:
likely contributed to the tragedy on April 29.

The lead investigator, Col. John Alexander,
said the crash and the software issue were "completely unforeseen." :|

Sikorsky was asked to review the flight control system for other potential problems
and DND said Tuesday that the company has investigated and confirmed that all flight director control biases
are "known and understood."

Lamirande also insisted that —
despite the accident, the flight restrictions and the questions around software —
the Cyclone continues to meet the air force's performance requirements.

"The CH148 Electronic Flight Control System (EFCS) provides the functionality required"
by the maritime helicopter specifications,
Lamirande said in an email to CBC News.

The "revised operating procedures and improved training will ensure that aircrew avoid"
the kind of flight conditions that caused the crash and will teach them to
"recover from unexpected helicopter behaviour that may be associated with flight director control bias,"
she said.

A defence expert and long-time critic of the Cyclone program said
he was astounded by that statement.

"They're asking pilots to fly around the defect and not to trigger it,"
said Michael Byers, a professor at the University of British Columbia
who has tracked the Cyclone project.

"The defect that brought the aircraft down in the Ionian Sea caused fatalities
and now pilots must try to avoid the fault. It's unacceptable."
ANALYSIS
The Cyclone chopper crash probe could lead the military to some uncomfortable conclusions

ANALYSIS
Is the defence department's crackdown on leaks about security — or avoiding embarrassment?
He also questioned the claim that Sikorsky has caught all of the software "biases,"
arguing the company didn't know about the fatal problem until after the crash. :|

"I don't have much confidence they have thought of everything," he said,
noting the Cyclone is a combat aircraft
and may be pushed beyond its limits in its capacity as a submarine-hunting helicopter.

Byers said he questions whether the Cyclones should be allowed back in the air so soon — or at all. :|
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cyclon ... -1.5616809
The Cyclone chopper crash probe could lead the military to some uncomfortable conclusions

Around the world, fly-by-wire helicopters are rare — as are the experts who understand them

CBC News Posted: Jun 18, 2020 4:00 AM ET |
Last Updated: June 18

A little more than a decade ago,
aviation magazines were buzzing about the inclusion of cutting-edge fly-by-wire technology
on the Canadian military's new CH-148 Cyclone.

It was portrayed as bold.

Industry experts said the digital system opened up a world of new possibilities for flight operations
and the future of helicopter aviation in general.

That was because the U.S. manufacturer, Sikorsky, had
— at the time —
never built a helicopter which didn't have a mechanical link between the cockpit controls and the main or tail rotors.

In the Cyclone, flight control computers do all of the work.
Unique to the Cyclone was the so-called "flight director" mode,
which is closely linked to the flight control system
and allows maritime helicopter pilots to automate search patterns, among other things.

A host of unanswered questions

That particular piece of technology is at the centre of the military's investigation
into the crash of Stalker-22 off the coast of Greece on April 29,
which claimed the lives of six members of the military.

"At this point in time, it is too early to say that there is an issue with the flight control system."
Brig.-Gen. Nancy Tremblay, director-general of the air force's technical airworthiness authority,
said at this week's technical briefing.

The air force
— and perhaps even the Liberal government —
had better pray there isn't.

A whole host of flight safety, defence and public policy issues are wound around this high-tech spoke.


Among other things, the specific nature of the software problem
(or 'bias" as flight safety investigators prefer to call it)
raises a host of questions about the development of the aircraft and its flight certification.

Tremblay was adamant that the validation system caught everything.

"The flight control system certification of the Cyclone helicopter was a very rigorous process,"
said Tremblay,
who noted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Canada and the National Research Council of Canada
were all involved in the evaluation of this unique system.

'Not for the faint of heart'
One aviation expert has concerns.

"Going to a fly-by-wire system, with no mechanical links,
is not for the faint of heart and needs pretty detailed knowledge about software and hardware and all of that sort of thing,"
said Shawn Coyle, a former Canadian military pilot and civilian accident investigator.

There are just a few helicopters in service around the world with that kind of technology.
They include the European-designed NH-90 and the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.

The scarcity of fly-by-wire choppers has led to a shortage of expertise, Coyle said.


Flight control software glitch haunted Cyclone helicopter during trials

"There are very few people who've done a certification on fly-by-wire control system on a helicopter,"
he told CBC News.

"Doing something with software is not always easy," he said,
adding programmers don't always think "of everything."

The Canadian military has gone back and asked Sikorsky about
"other potential scenarios that could lead to such a [software] bias,"
said Lt.-Gen. Alain Pelletier, commander of the 1st Canadian Air Division,
who ordered the Cyclones back to the air this week
with better crew training and some flight restrictions.

Echoes of the Boeing 737
The crash is being described by the air force as something "completely unforeseen."

But it bears a passing resemblance to the tragic Boeing 737 Max crashes.

In one instance, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight control computer aboard the 737
threw the plane into a dive every time the pilots tried to pull up.

The circumstances of the Cyclone crash are similar to the case of the 737 —
but different in that the software fault with the Cyclone apparently built up over time,
and flying in flight director (or semi-autonomous) mode was not recommended
whenever the helicopter was required to do short, snappy manoeuvres. :|

As Stalker-22 approached HMCS Fredericton
— with the computer doing most of the flying —
the pilot keyed a series of inputs into the flight computer.

The computer did not respond to the commands, sending the aircraft straight into the ocean. :(

"Now that we have understood what has happened, the flight safety investigation will focus on the why,"
said Col. John Alexander, the air force's lead investigator.

Was the military ready to deploy the Cyclone?

Understanding the "why" could lead investigators toward some uncomfortable conclusions for the air force
— which waited a dozen years while the Cyclone was developed.

If software development isn't to blame, and if no further "biases" are identified,
then the public's attention may turn to the question
of how prepared the military was to bring the helicopter into service after the Conservative government, in 2015,
ordered the military to begin retiring the old CH-124 Sea Kings.

They might also ask how well the pilots understood the nuances of the aircraft.

Coyle can sympathize.
When he worked at Transport Canada and was in the process of checking out the Bell 407 helicopter
— which had only a single computer, not three, as the Cyclone does —
he was approached by a European pilot who offered his condolences.

"He told us, 'It's not easy and you will make mistakes,'" Coyle said.
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Re: 2020: Canadian Navy CH-148 in Greek Ionian Sea, wreck fo

Post by tomcat604 »

What a load of Bull Manure!!!! I understand that leading edge designs come with risk - but FBW is something that's been around since 1980's or earlier?
I would argue that the government of the day (the Liberals whom i believe initially started the program) the manufacturer and the DND all bear responsibility for the 6 fatalities.

What makes Canada's ASW role/task so special that we couldn't have purchased SH-60's - at a cheaper price , delivered more rapidly etc . Was corruption involved in this deal? I don't know.
However as a Canadian i am outraged / incensed at the politics and ineptitude in getting our armed forces proper equipment in a timely manner. Can't wait for the debacle that the Hornet replacement program is to finalize!!!!
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