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Sat, Feb 21, 2004

Canada Lifts Grounding Of CH-149s

Cormorants Had Been Limited To SAR Ops Only

The Canadian Air Force is lifting a flight restriction on its fleet of 15 CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopters that temporarily limited the aircraft to search and rescue operations only, following modifications to an engine fuel supply line.

The individual CH-149 Cormorant aircraft (Canadian Coast Guard varient shown below) will be able to be used for training flights as soon as they are modified.

The flight restriction meant that the Cormorants could only be flown for actual search and rescue missions: no training flights could be conducted until aircraft modifications were completed.

The fuel lines on all 15 Cormorants were inspected and no further defective lines were found. An over-sized Viton sleeve is fitted over the aircraft fuel lines to reduce the possibility of fuel being sprayed inside the engine compartment until new, re-engineered fuel lines can be produced and installed on all three engines of the aircraft to completely eliminate the problem.

The recent discovery of two leaking engine fuel lines prompted Major General Marc Dumais, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division, to impose the flight restriction as a precautionary measure on Feb. 5. "The Canadian Air Force will not take unnecessary risks with our people and equipment. I am satisfied that a proper solution to this problem is being implemented and that there will be no further occurrences of leaking fuel lines," said Major-General Dumais.

The engineering solution to the problem was developed by EH Industries, the aircraft manufacturer. The modifications to the fuel lines will be carried out by IMP, the aircraft maintenance contractor.



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