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Report on Canadian EH-101's Performance in its First Rescue Season

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  • Report on Canadian EH-101's Performance in its First Rescue Season


    EH101 Cormorant Outpaces Lab in Busy Summer Rescue Season

    (Source: Canadian Department of National Defence; issued Sept. 26, 2003)

    The Canadian military’s new Cormorant helicopter has completed its first full search and rescue season on the West Coast in style, shattering the pace set by its 35-year-old predecessor.

    In a period stretching from Victoria Day to Labour day - the traditional rescue season in both B.C. and the Yukon - 442 Squadron’s fleet of five Cormorants logged 810 flying hours. That easily surpasses the seasonal high-time mark of 750 hours flown over the last decade by the helicopter it replaced, the Labrador.

    The record comes in the wake of the busiest SAR season in a decade. Three major searches over the summer helped push the Cormorant to the mark, while also taking 442’s Buffalo fleet 200 hours beyond forecast.

    “It’s staggering what’s been done,” says IMP Site Manager Andy Giblin, who leads the civilian team responsible for maintaining Cormorants at 19 Wing Comox on Vancouver Island. “We merged a brand new aircraft and a brand new maintenance system into an unprecedented pace of operations and came out on top. We’ve certainly proven this helicopter is up to the task.”

    Canada purchased 15 Cormorants in 1998. They first entered service here at 19 Wing last year. Since then, rescue units in Gander Nfld. and Greenwood N.S. have become operational, retiring their Labrador helicopters in the process. Trenton, Ontario’s 424 Squadron, the last unit to receive the Cormorant, is expected to begin rescue missions with the new aircraft next spring. Statistics comparing the new fleet with other military operators of the EH-101 tell the story of the Cormorant’s rapid introduction to Canadian skies. Britain’s Royal Navy, which began flying its 44-strong fleet in 1997, has so far logged 18,000 hours. In less than three years, Canada’s 15 aircraft have already flown over 8,000 hours.

    “We’ve had it just half the time and we’re flying it at nearly twice the rate,” Giblin says. “We are by far the most successful military 101 fleet in the world. I think a lot of that is due to the capabilities of our technicians and the cooperation between IMP, EHI and the Canadian Forces.” Giblin says one Comox-based chopper, tail number 901, is just weeks away from becoming the world’s high-time military EH-101.

    Lt.-Col. Colin Goodman, commanding officer of 442 Squadron, says the statistics back up what he and his crews have come to expect of the Cormorant. “Despite the challenges of introducing a brand new aircraft, including a stiff maintenance regime and ongoing spare parts issues, once the aircraft are on the line the reliability rate has been excellent,” he says. “When we strap in, we know we’re going flying. And that’s what it’s all about.”


  • #2
    If we had a proper government they would Buy 5 of these aircraft immediately. They are obviously the best machine for the Job.

    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


    • #3
      "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


      • #4
        If we had a proper Govt we would follow Portugal & get them on the cheap.... include search radar etc.
        Were a great nation for getting cash for roads etc.... must be no will.


        • #5
          From what I hear the Aer corp are struggling to keep a 12 hour SAR service in Sligo with one aircraft.(lots of infighting at the moment, things have got nasty,dirty, and personal there. Not what you would call a good atmosphere for SAR).Sligo was suppose to be giving 24hr SAR coverage fron the 1st December 2002, then it was 1st July 2003,the next date given was 1st October 2003, that has also passed ,I think it might be time to keep this real in relation to purchaes of medium lift helo's.
          Last edited by Guest; 3 October 2003, 20:14.