Tail cracks on military’s new helicopters likely due to weight of equipment: DND

Tail cracks on military's new helicopters likely due to weight of equipment: DND
CH-148 Cyclone (Royal Canadian Air Force/Twitter)

The Department of National Defence is blaming an apparent design flaw for the cracks recently discovered in the tails of most of the military’s new Cyclone helicopters.

The department says it believes the weight and pressure of equipment installed on the tail are likely responsible for the cracks, which have been found on 21 of the military’s 23 Cyclones.

The Defence Department does not say why the problem was not discovered during the department and military certification process before the aircraft was allowed to start flying.

But it suggests it is not uncommon for issues to arise after the delivery of new military aircraft.

The tail cracks are nonetheless the latest in a string of problems for the Cyclones, one of which crashed off the coast of Greece in April 2020, killing six Armed Forces members.

The Defence Department says it has so far patched the cracks on 11 of the 21 affected helicopters, while manufacturer Sikorsky works on a long-term solution.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2022.


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