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Pilot seat malfunction led to Cormorant crash, air force says

April 6, 2022   by The Canadian Press

A Cormorant helicopter crashed in Gander, N.L. in March

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ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A Royal Canadian Air Force investigator says a military search and rescue helicopter crash in March at the airport in Gander, N.L., was set off by a problem with the pilot seat.

The investigator’s report released today says the seat “unexpectedly descended to its lowest position” as the six-person crew were conducting hovering manoeuvres during a training mission.

It says the CH-149 Cormorant was pulled into a counter-clockwise spin when the seat went down, causing its right side to dip.

The investigator says a section of the helicopter’s tail as well as its main rotor blades then hit the runway.

Pictures accompanying the report show the tail ripped off the aircraft.

The report says the crash on March 10 caused “very serious damage” to the helicopter and serious injuries to two of the Cormorant’s crew.


Feature image: Emergency crews work around the wreckage of a downed CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopter at 9 Wing Canadian Forces Base Gander, in Gander, N.L., Thursday, March 10, 2022. The Royal Canadian Air Force says there were six crew members on board the CH-149 search and rescue helicopter when it went down this afternoon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Scott Cook