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Probe Faults Pilot Skills in Cormorant Crash

By James T. McKenna | March 12, 2008

Its pilot’s inappropriate flying techniques caused the July 13, 2006 crash of a CH-149 Cormorant, Canadian Forces investigators have found. Contributing to the crash into the sea near Canso, Nova Scotia that killed three crewmembers, they said, were flight restrictions triggered by tail-rotor cracking on the EH101 derivative that led to deterioration of Cormorant pilots’ flying skills. Investigators reported finding no evidence that any system malfunction on the AgustaWestland aircraft contributed to the accident. Investigators said the flying pilot's trim technique caused the flight control pitch actuators to become saturated. That caused loss of the automatic stabilization system, and then “the helicopter's inherent instability combined with the pilot's inputs to create a large but unrecognized nose-down attitude and descending flight path.” They also found that prolonged training restrictions imposed due to ongoing tail-rotor half-hub cracking “had a serious detrimental effect on overall CH149 aircrew proficiency,” whose “resultant risk to operational airworthiness was underestimated and not effectively mitigated.” For related news


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