-- Letter to the Editor: CBC News
-- Letter to the Editor: National Post
To the Editor:
In response to recent media reports on the presence of alleged counterfeit parts in Canada’s CC-130J Hercules aircraft, I would like to reiterate that, as with any piece of Canadian Armed Forces equipment, safety is paramount. Whether our aircraft are made in Canada or imported, there are rigorous processes to track their components and ensure they are safe to fly.
Lockheed Martin, the CC-130J Hercules’ manufacturer, has determined there are no safety concerns and no flight limitations to our aircraft as a result of alleged counterfeit parts. When this issue became known, the Department of National Defence (DND) conducted an independent assessment that concurred with Lockheed Martin’s conclusion.
The alleged parts are microchips located in cockpit and cargo display units installed by Lockheed Martin during production. The assessments carried out to date confirm that the aircraft can be flown safely using the primary flight instruments, or alternatively, with the standby analog flight gauges. The high degree of redundancy in the aircraft systems, combined with DND’s excellent airworthiness program, mean that our Royal Canadian Air Force pilots and aircrews remain completely confident in the safety of this fleet.
We will continue to closely monitor the status of these systems, and in the event any parts are determined to be non-serviceable, we will take steps to ensure they are replaced. The CC-130 Hercules is the workhorse of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s transport fleet, with different variants of the aircraft in service since the early 1960s.
Since the first of Canada’s 17 CC-130Js were welcomed into service in 2010, the fleet has served in multiple operations domestically and abroad. Canadians can rest assured that the Royal Canadian Air Force holds the safety of its military air crew - and the Canadian public - in the highest regard.
Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin
Commander – Royal Canadian Air Force
(EDITOR’S NOTE: In this stunning letter, RCAF commander Gen. Blondin implicitly confirms that counterfeit parts have indeed been found in the service’s CC-130Js – or at least he does not deny it – and states that the aircraft will remain in operation.
This points to a remarkably cavalier attitude to flight safety, as any presence of counterfeit parts should lead to immediate grounding and to detailed examination of all aircraft systems.
Continuing to fly because Lockheed “has determined there are no safety concerns and no flight limitations…as a result of alleged counterfeit parts” seems more than slightly irresponsible.)