Seat malfunction led to Canadian helicopter crash


A report published by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has concluded that the service’s AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopter crashed due to a problem with the pilot’s seat.  

The crash occurred on March 10, 2022, at Gander International Airport (YQX).  

The helicopter, with a crew of six, was hovering above the airport at the end of a training mission. As it was making its final turn before landing, “the pilot flying’s seat unexpectedly descended to its lowest position”, the report states. 

The helicopter reversed its turn, sharply yawed left, and became unstable before impacting the runway with its tail and rotor blades. 

According to the report, two servicemen sustained serious injuries, and three more received minor injuries. Four occupants were hospitalized. 

The CH-149 Cormorant is the Canadian version of the AgustaWestland AW101 medium-lift helicopter. Before the crash, the RCAF operated 14 aircraft of this type. 

In 2006, another CH-149 crashed due to pilot error, killing three servicemen and injuring four.

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