The Royal Canadian Air Force and Sikorsky appear no closer to finding the root cause of a failure with a flight control computer that has left its fleet of CH-148 Cyclone maritime patrol helicopters grounded since 10 March.
Sikorsky has delivered 11 Cyclones to the RCAF, with three operating as test and evaluation aircraft. The commander of the Canadian Air Division ordered an "operational pause" with the helicopters after a failure in the flight control computers on one test aircraft caused a momentary, uncommanded pitch change during a 10 March training sortie.
The incident marks yet another hurdle for the Sea King replacement programme, which has faced ballooning costs and technical glitches over its lifetime.
While the incident did not affect core operations, operational test and evaluation has been suspended during the investigation. The air force does not know when the grounding will be lifted and test and evaluation will resume, Ottawa's Department of National Defence (DND) tells FlightGlobal. (end of excerpt)
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