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Shortage of ships, helicopters blamed for crash

Nov. 12, 2008, Ottawa - A new report blames poor pilot training because of a lack of working helicopters for the crash of a military Sea King off Denmark more than two years ago.


November 12, 2008
By The Canadian Press

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Nov. 12, 2008, Ottawa – A new report blames poor pilot training because of a lack of working helicopters for the crash of a military Sea King off Denmark more than two years ago.

The Defence Department safety report says there are not enough of the aged choppers in service at any one time _ and not enough ship's decks to land them on _ to conduct the training needed for safe landings at sea.

All five crew aboard the Sea King escaped when the helicopter went down on final approach to HMCS Athabaskan on the night of Feb. 2, 2006.

The Air Force Directorate of Flight Safety says the pilot became disoriented about 30 metres from landing on Athabaskan's rear deck before the helicopter's rear fuselage and tail rotor hit the water.

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The helicopter pitched forward, yawed right and overturned before it sank.

The report says the pilots had the “absolute minimum'' current training levels because of a shortage of serviceable aircraft and operational ships.


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