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Lets hope that the crew got out safely.

CANADA | News
 

Air Force says helicopter involved in incident in Newfoundland

Ben Cousins

Ben CousinsCTVNews.ca Writer

@cousins_ben Contact

Emergency crews respond to a Cormorant helicopter crash at 9 Wing Gander on Thursday.

Published Thursday, March 10, 2022 3:46PM ESTLast Updated Thursday, March 10, 2022 3:46PM EST
rescue helicopter in Gander, N.L.

The Royal Canadian Air Force said first responders are on the scene of an “accident” involving a search and rescue helicopter in Gander, N.L.

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The Royal Canadian Air Force said first responders are on the scene of an “accident” involving a search and rescue helicopter in Gander, N.L.

In a tweet, the Air Force said the CH-149 Cormorant was involved in an accident at 9 Wing Gander, the Air Force base that provides search and rescue services throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, among other duties.

Photos from the scene show the helicopter on its side, without a tail rotor or rotor blades and an ambulance next to it.

There is no information yet on the status of the crew and the Air Force said more information would be provided when available.

RCMP have confirmed to NTV that the crash occurred on Thursday afternoon.

More coming.

This afternoon a @RCAF_ARC CH-149 Cormorant #SAR helicopter was involved in an accident at 9 Wing Gander, N.L. First responders are on scene. Updates will be provided as information becomes available. pic.twitter.com/BSM8mXqIeQ

— Royal Canadian Air Force (@RCAF_ARC) March 10, 2022

Rescue crews on the scene at #YQX after apparent helicopter incident involving @RCAF_ARC CH-149 Cormorant. RCMP Confirm incident happened within the last hour. @NTVNewsNL #nltraffic pic.twitter.com/mb0eUQEg1z

— Jodi Cooke (@Jodicookeskis) March 10, 2022
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  • 3 weeks later...

OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canada will announce on Monday that Lockheed Martin Corp is the preferred bidder in a multibillion-dollar competition to supply 88 new fighter jets, said an industry source close to the file.

The announcement means Ottawa will only hold detailed talks with the U.S. company, said the source, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation. If those negotiations for some reason fail, the government will turn to Sweden's Saab, the other contender.

Canada belongs to the consortium that developed Lockheed Martin's F-35 jet, which defense sources say is the military's first choice. Ottawa says the contract could be worth up to C$19 billion ($15.10 billion).

The move marks a reversal for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who came to power in late November 2015 vowing not to buy the F-35 on the grounds it was too expensive.

This appeared to favor Boeing Co, but the U.S. company fell out of favor with Ottawa after taking trade action against Canadian rival Bombardier Inc and was excluded from the competition last December.

A spokesman for federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand, in overall charge of the process, declined to comment. Lockheed Martin and Saab were not immediately available for comment.

($1 = 1.2586 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by John Stonestreet and Jonathan Oatis)

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2022 Canadian Forces Snowbirds schedule

snowbirds3-e1589663933670.jpg?w=1024
Date Location
June  
18 – 19 Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario
25 – 26 Brantford, Ontario
29 Dieppe-Moncton-Riverview, New Brunswick
July  
1 Ottawa, Ontario**
16 – 17 Cold Lake, Alberta
20 Terrace, British Columbia
23 – 24 Calgary-Springbank, Alberta
30 – 31 Fort St. John, British Columbia
August  
3 Penticton, British Columbia
5 ‑ 7 Abbotsford, British Columbia
13 ‑ 14 Edmonton-Villeneuve, Alberta
27 ‑ 28 Debert, Nova Scotia
September  
3 ‑ 5 Toronto, Ontario
9 ‑ 11 London, Ontario
14 Tillsonburg, Ontario
17 ‑ 18 Gatineau, Quebec
24 ‑ 25 Mirabel, Quebec
October  
1 ‑ 2 Huntington Beach, California, USA
8 ‑ 9 San Francisco, California, USA
15 ‑ 16 Santa Maria, California, USA

 ** Denotes a non-aerobatic display

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Inuvik runway extension, ‘$40M over budget,’ is halted

Published: March 30, 2022 at 6:20amOLLIE WILLIAMS


Work to extend the runway at Inuvik’s airport has been paused, reportedly because the expected cost for the project is now some $40 million beyond the initial budget.

A diagram of Inuvik's airport runway. The yellow dots mark proposed 1,500-ft extensions at either end.

image.png.d8e3487cc2df6222efa037b9a38927a5.png

The delay comes amid renewed scrutiny of Canada’s Arctic defence capabilities following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Premier Caroline Cochrane this week called for more focus on the NWT’s “unique border with Russia.”

Extending Inuvik’s runway from 6,000 ft to 9,000 ft is primarily seen as an Arctic sovereignty measure, allowing the Royal Canadian Air Force to operate a wider range of aircraft from the town, which is considered a key “forward operating location.”

 

The Department of National Defence had agreed to foot the $150-million expected bill for the work. However, Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA Lesa Semmler this week told the legislature the project has been halted.

“It is my understanding that they have stopped work on this project because a detailed engineering budget … is approximately $40 million higher than the government’s initial costing,” Semmler said.

“It is also my understanding that they are refusing to allow an extremely time-sensitive phase of this work to be completed this spring … keeping the project timeline on track, protecting Indigenous obligations and local employment.

“It is clear we cannot have any confidence in the safety and security of our region, as our government won’t do anything to ensure the safety and security of our country.”

The time-sensitive work specified by Semmler is the digging of a trench originally scheduled to take place before the coming spring thaw. Semmler said the project would be delayed by a year if that work did not happen immediately, a statement infrastructure minister Diane Archie confirmed.

 

Archie said on Monday a meeting was due that afternoon between Department of Infrastructure officials, the Department of National Defence and the contractor to discuss the project’s problems.

As of Wednesday morning, there was no update available on that meeting’s outcomes.

“We’ll be providing an update on the joint venture once we have concurred on a way forward,” Archie, who also serves as the Inuvik Boot Lake MLA, told the legislature.

“The project came in significantly over budget – more than what the GNWT estimates and more than a third-party estimate that used information collected by regional contractors.

“Inuvik is my community as well and this is something we push at the premier’s level, to have that discussion with National Defence so we don’t lose the time. I’m hoping for a favourable outcome as a result of those meetings.”

Earlier that day, Premier Cochrane had risen in the legislature to emphasize the increasing strategic importance of the Arctic and call for more northern infrastructure investment from the federal government.

Cochrane and her territorial counterparts in Nunavut and Yukon requested a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about Arctic defence at the onset of war in Ukraine. Instead, Cochrane said on Monday, she has now met with federal defence minister Anita Anand and northern affairs minister Dan Vandal.

Cochrane tied her domestic agenda into the notion of Arctic sovereignty, saying northern security was “not just about a military presence.”

“It is also about building strong, resilient communities through significant investment in critical infrastructure like roads, telecommunications and energy,” she said.

“It also means strong healthcare and education systems and the elimination of gaps between north and south. Decisions about the North must be made by northerners. After all, northerners have the biggest stake in a strong and sustainable Arctic.”

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If we go ahead with the F35, I hope they will come without these problems, Afterall they will be some years in the future and the US has had many years to fix the problems but ....... 🙃

Five problems with America's F-35s (now that Canada is buying its own)

National Post Staff - Yesterday 11:40 a.m.
React|
 
 
 
203
 
image.png.c6b4893f582f1a21aa627e0c275a92cf.png

The U.S. F-35 program has been dogged by technical problems and operational shortcomings that continue to pose safety risks and raise questions of mission readiness. Despite multiple delays, the most advanced (and expensive) warfighter ever mass-produced has critical issues highlighted by the Pentagon that still need to be reconciled for the jet to meet its lofty promises.

Photograph taken through a window of a NATO refuelling tanker shows Norwegian F-35 fighter jets during NATO exercise 'Cold Response' over Norway on March 22.
© Provided by National PostPhotograph taken through a window of a NATO refuelling tanker shows Norwegian F-35 fighter jets during NATO exercise 'Cold Response' over Norway on March 22.
 

On Tuesday, Canada announced it is finalizing plans to buy 88 F-35s for the Royal Canadian Air Force, with the first jet expected to be delivered in 2025. Lockheed Martin has in recent years made steady progress in resolving the F-35’s shortcomings, though the F-35 Joint Program Office told Defence News in 2021 the aircraft still had “critical” issues that have an “impact on mission readiness.”

While the issues are classified, here are five problems that have been brought to light:

The severe sinus pains

Spikes in air pressure inside the cockpit caused pilots to have “excruciating” ear and sinus pain, forcing two Air Force pilots to abort test missions, according to a U.S. Department of Defence report. The pilots were using earlier versions of the F-35 and experienced barotrauma, or ear injuries related to changes to air pressure, “causing loss of in-flight situational awareness, with effects lasting for months,” according to the document.

A design change was expected to fix the problem in 2019, however, it is still one of the unresolved issues highlighted a year ago.

Supersonic flight causes stealth coating to detach

The F-35 can only tolerate supersonic speeds at high altitudes for short bursts before it sustains lasting structural damage and the loss of stealth capabilities. During high speeds, the jet’s stealth coating, which makes it invisible to radar, is known to bubble.

There are currently no plans to correct the problem. The F-35 JPO told Defense News the issue was closed under the category of ‘no plans to correct’ due to cost overruns and the time it would take to correct. Instead, the Pentagon set a time limit for supersonic flight to less than a cumulative minute for all models.

Despite this significant limitation to its stealth and dogfighting capability, the F-35 has advantages over its predecessors in ground attacks and intelligence gathering. But repair times and flight costs remains an issue in making the F-35 the versatile weapon it was conceived to be.

Repair times and cost to fly

Every hour of flight costs US$36,000 on average , with Lockheed claiming it can reduce the cost to US$25,000 if the JPO awards it an exclusive maintenance contract. By comparison, the F-22 runs US$22,000 per hour of flight.

According to the U.S. GAO, the F-35A, which is used by the Air Force, would cost US$7.8 million per plane for one year of operation, $3.7 million more than the Air Force’s target for affordability. Unless the costs can be brought down, the repair costs for Canada could climb well into the billions by next half of the century.

‘Green glow’ obscures pilot’s vision at night

The F-35’s helmet-mounted display would emit a bright glow in low-light situations that obscures the pilot’s vision. One Air Force pilot on an air-to-air refuelling mission last year lost sight of the tanker as he drew closer to it, causing a near crash. Investigators said the display glowed too brightly, even on its lowest level, according to Air Force Times. While it’s not known how common the problem is, both a software upgrade and a newer headgear using an OLED display as opposed to LCD were proposed to address the issue and are expected to be implemented before 2025.

The Unknowns

The F-35’s mission capability rating sat at 69 per cent early in 2021, falling short of the 80 per cent benchmark set by the the U.S. military, with progress appearing to plateau. For part of the fleet, the canopy and engine power modules were highlighted by the previous U.S. administration as ongoing issues.

Seven critical technical deficiencies were reported in July, down from 11 in January. While the nature of the issues classified, all remaining deficiencies belong to 1B issues, which stands for problems with “critical impact on mission readiness.”

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On 3/30/2022 at 9:39 AM, Kargokings said:

Inuvik runway extension, ‘$40M over budget,’ is halted

Published: March 30, 2022 at 6:20amOLLIE WILLIAMS


Work to extend the runway at Inuvik’s airport has been paused, reportedly because the expected cost for the project is now some $40 million beyond the initial budget.

A diagram of Inuvik's airport runway. The yellow dots mark proposed 1,500-ft extensions at either end.

image.png.d8e3487cc2df6222efa037b9a38927a5.png

The delay comes amid renewed scrutiny of Canada’s Arctic defence capabilities following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Premier Caroline Cochrane this week called for more focus on the NWT’s “unique border with Russia.”

Extending Inuvik’s runway from 6,000 ft to 9,000 ft is primarily seen as an Arctic sovereignty measure, allowing the Royal Canadian Air Force to operate a wider range of aircraft from the town, which is considered a key “forward operating location.”

 

The Department of National Defence had agreed to foot the $150-million expected bill for the work. However, Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA Lesa Semmler this week told the legislature the project has been halted.

“It is my understanding that they have stopped work on this project because a detailed engineering budget … is approximately $40 million higher than the government’s initial costing,” Semmler said.

“It is also my understanding that they are refusing to allow an extremely time-sensitive phase of this work to be completed this spring … keeping the project timeline on track, protecting Indigenous obligations and local employment.

“It is clear we cannot have any confidence in the safety and security of our region, as our government won’t do anything to ensure the safety and security of our country.”

The time-sensitive work specified by Semmler is the digging of a trench originally scheduled to take place before the coming spring thaw. Semmler said the project would be delayed by a year if that work did not happen immediately, a statement infrastructure minister Diane Archie confirmed.

 

Archie said on Monday a meeting was due that afternoon between Department of Infrastructure officials, the Department of National Defence and the contractor to discuss the project’s problems.

As of Wednesday morning, there was no update available on that meeting’s outcomes.

“We’ll be providing an update on the joint venture once we have concurred on a way forward,” Archie, who also serves as the Inuvik Boot Lake MLA, told the legislature.

“The project came in significantly over budget – more than what the GNWT estimates and more than a third-party estimate that used information collected by regional contractors.

“Inuvik is my community as well and this is something we push at the premier’s level, to have that discussion with National Defence so we don’t lose the time. I’m hoping for a favourable outcome as a result of those meetings.”

Earlier that day, Premier Cochrane had risen in the legislature to emphasize the increasing strategic importance of the Arctic and call for more northern infrastructure investment from the federal government.

Cochrane and her territorial counterparts in Nunavut and Yukon requested a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about Arctic defence at the onset of war in Ukraine. Instead, Cochrane said on Monday, she has now met with federal defence minister Anita Anand and northern affairs minister Dan Vandal.

Cochrane tied her domestic agenda into the notion of Arctic sovereignty, saying northern security was “not just about a military presence.”

“It is also about building strong, resilient communities through significant investment in critical infrastructure like roads, telecommunications and energy,” she said.

“It also means strong healthcare and education systems and the elimination of gaps between north and south. Decisions about the North must be made by northerners. After all, northerners have the biggest stake in a strong and sustainable Arctic.”

A lesser benefit, would be a 9000 foot runway in YEV would allow for use as an ETOPS alternate airport.

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On 3/31/2022 at 2:42 PM, Kargokings said:

If we go ahead with the F35, I hope they will come without these problems, Afterall they will be some years in the future and the US has had many years to fix the problems but ....... 🙃

Five problems with America's F-35s (now that Canada is buying its own)

National Post Staff - Yesterday 11:40 a.m.
React|
 
 
 
203
  •  
 
image.png.c6b4893f582f1a21aa627e0c275a92cf.png

The U.S. F-35 program has been dogged by technical problems and operational shortcomings that continue to pose safety risks and raise questions of mission readiness. Despite multiple delays, the most advanced (and expensive) warfighter ever mass-produced has critical issues highlighted by the Pentagon that still need to be reconciled for the jet to meet its lofty promises.

Photograph taken through a window of a NATO refuelling tanker shows Norwegian F-35 fighter jets during NATO exercise 'Cold Response' over Norway on March 22.
© Provided by National PostPhotograph taken through a window of a NATO refuelling tanker shows Norwegian F-35 fighter jets during NATO exercise 'Cold Response' over Norway on March 22.
 

On Tuesday, Canada announced it is finalizing plans to buy 88 F-35s for the Royal Canadian Air Force, with the first jet expected to be delivered in 2025. Lockheed Martin has in recent years made steady progress in resolving the F-35’s shortcomings, though the F-35 Joint Program Office told Defence News in 2021 the aircraft still had “critical” issues that have an “impact on mission readiness.”

While the issues are classified, here are five problems that have been brought to light:

The severe sinus pains

Spikes in air pressure inside the cockpit caused pilots to have “excruciating” ear and sinus pain, forcing two Air Force pilots to abort test missions, according to a U.S. Department of Defence report. The pilots were using earlier versions of the F-35 and experienced barotrauma, or ear injuries related to changes to air pressure, “causing loss of in-flight situational awareness, with effects lasting for months,” according to the document.

A design change was expected to fix the problem in 2019, however, it is still one of the unresolved issues highlighted a year ago.

Supersonic flight causes stealth coating to detach

The F-35 can only tolerate supersonic speeds at high altitudes for short bursts before it sustains lasting structural damage and the loss of stealth capabilities. During high speeds, the jet’s stealth coating, which makes it invisible to radar, is known to bubble.

There are currently no plans to correct the problem. The F-35 JPO told Defense News the issue was closed under the category of ‘no plans to correct’ due to cost overruns and the time it would take to correct. Instead, the Pentagon set a time limit for supersonic flight to less than a cumulative minute for all models.

Despite this significant limitation to its stealth and dogfighting capability, the F-35 has advantages over its predecessors in ground attacks and intelligence gathering. But repair times and flight costs remains an issue in making the F-35 the versatile weapon it was conceived to be.

Repair times and cost to fly

Every hour of flight costs US$36,000 on average , with Lockheed claiming it can reduce the cost to US$25,000 if the JPO awards it an exclusive maintenance contract. By comparison, the F-22 runs US$22,000 per hour of flight.

According to the U.S. GAO, the F-35A, which is used by the Air Force, would cost US$7.8 million per plane for one year of operation, $3.7 million more than the Air Force’s target for affordability. Unless the costs can be brought down, the repair costs for Canada could climb well into the billions by next half of the century.

‘Green glow’ obscures pilot’s vision at night

The F-35’s helmet-mounted display would emit a bright glow in low-light situations that obscures the pilot’s vision. One Air Force pilot on an air-to-air refuelling mission last year lost sight of the tanker as he drew closer to it, causing a near crash. Investigators said the display glowed too brightly, even on its lowest level, according to Air Force Times. While it’s not known how common the problem is, both a software upgrade and a newer headgear using an OLED display as opposed to LCD were proposed to address the issue and are expected to be implemented before 2025.

The Unknowns

The F-35’s mission capability rating sat at 69 per cent early in 2021, falling short of the 80 per cent benchmark set by the the U.S. military, with progress appearing to plateau. For part of the fleet, the canopy and engine power modules were highlighted by the previous U.S. administration as ongoing issues.

Seven critical technical deficiencies were reported in July, down from 11 in January. While the nature of the issues classified, all remaining deficiencies belong to 1B issues, which stands for problems with “critical impact on mission readiness.”

There is something to be said for the opposite strategy of build em cheap and build a lot of them.  This Aircraft is trying to do too much and does none of it better than the competition.  It is also missing one engine

 

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Snowbirds set to arrive in the Comox Valley

From Comox Valley Record 🔗 link to source story • thanks to CW

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are set to be back in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are set to be back in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Residents can expect to see and hear the iconic Tutor jets as the pilots in the sky

Black Press Submitted • April 14, 2022

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be at 19 Wing Comox this year for their annual spring training between April 19 and May 10.

Residents can expect to see and hear the iconic Tutor jets as the pilots of 431 Air Demonstration Squadron practice their formations and aerobatics in the vicinity of Comox Valley and over the Georgia Strait.

This year will be different than prior training sessions. Exceptional issues this past winter, including bad weather, and COVID-19 restrictions on personnel, have put them behind schedule. Therefore, the squadron will be conducting exercises at an earlier phase in their training and pilots may not be flying some of the more complicated maneuvers.

Residents are asked to enjoy the Snowbirds practice from their homes or to follow them online through social media.

Air Force Beach will have limited access for non-pass holders for the weekends of April 23 to 24, April 30 to May 1 and May 7 to 8. Access will be controlled by members of 19 Wing Comox. All visitors on DND property are asked to maintain physical distancing; in the event that distancing cannot be maintained, 19 Wing Comox requests masks be worn for everyone’s safety.

– 19 Wing Comox

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2022 Snowbirds schedule

 

May | June | July | August | September | October

Date Location
June
18 - 19 Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario
25 - 26 Brantford, Ontario
29 Dieppe-Moncton-Riverview, New Brunswick
July
1 Ottawa, Ontario**
16 - 17 Cold Lake, Alberta
20 Terrace, British Columbia
23 - 24 Calgary-Springbank, Alberta
30 - 31 Fort St. John, British Columbia
August
3 Penticton, British Columbia
5 ‑ 7 Abbotsford, British Columbia
13 ‑ 14 Edmonton-Villeneuve, Alberta
27 ‑ 28 Debert, Nova Scotia
September
3 ‑ 5 Toronto, Ontario
9 ‑ 11 London, Ontario
14 Tillsonburg, Ontario
17 ‑ 18 Gatineau, Quebec
24 ‑ 25 Mirabel, Quebec
October 1 ‑ 2 Huntington Beach, California, USA
8 ‑ 9 San Francisco, California, USA
15 ‑ 16 Santa Maria, California, USA

 ** Denotes a non-aerobatic display

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  • 2 weeks later...

‘It’s an honour’: Snowbird pilot describes flying acrobatic planes

 
Wednesday, Apr. 27th, 2022Email
Snowbirds-Training-in-Comox-April-2017-1 Snowbirds training in Comox. (Supplied by 19 Wing Public Affairs)
 

It is not often that you find yourself hurtling over the ground with other great pilots in an acrobatic display of aircraft.

But for Capt. Logan Reid of the Canadian Snowbirds, it’s a privilege to fly with skilled pilots in shows across North America.

“The speed’s pretty cool. We have some pretty awesome manoeuvres and we do them pretty low and fast to the ground,” explained Reid. “It’s unlike any other kind of flying and it’s a really privileged job particularly in the military to be able to represent the Canadian Forces.”

He adds travelling 300 feet off the ground at over 1,000 km/h close to other aircraft is very thrilling.

The pilot has been with the Snowbirds since 2019, and this is his third visit to Comox to train for the upcoming season.

77ed87a57666647c6a204d5911a7b342.jpg
lgs.php?bannerid=5723&campaignid=4784&zo

He says the pilots are drafted from all over the military, but they tend to look for pilots with more experience, skills, and around 1,000 hours in the ejection seat. Quick reactions and experience are vital when flying at high speeds in close proximity to other pilots.

Capt. Reid adds they spend a lot of time discussing the flight before heading out as they have limited time in the air.

“Preparation process starts about an hour and a half before even our takeoff goes. We all get together in a room and we sit down and conduct what’s called ‘the brief’,” he said.

“This is a very thorough walkthrough, all the communications, all the manoeuvres we’re going to perform for that day’s mission to make sure everyone’s able to visualize and know what to expect from that trip.”

He adds the jets are capable but can’t hold much fuel and only allow for about an hour of flying time. He says efficiency is most important.

The team is training in the Comox Valley until May 11. The training will be different than normal as the team was delayed by weather conditions in Moose Jaw, according to Capt. Gabriel Ferris.

“Normally the training in Comox is to make the show a bit tighter,” he said. “This year we were a little bit delayed because of the bad weather we had in Moose Jaw, so we’re actually still in the process of creating the show and putting the pieces together.”

Despite this, he says the training in the Comox Valley is very important because of the terrain.

“On the off season, we train in Moose Jaw. That’s perfect for the beginning of training season because it’s kinda flat and the weather’s usually nice,” said Ferris. “And then we go to Comox because there’s different terrain and training above water and mountains on the horizon is going to be different for a flying show.”

Shows this summer will be closest in Abbotsford for residents of the valley. Flights will be at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in April and 12:40 p.m. and 4 p.m. in May depending on the weather.

The best place to watch the Snowbirds is Airforce Beach, according to Capt. Ferris.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Canadian crews on the ground, in the air reach milestone transporting aid to war-torn Ukraine

Airlift operation has flown about 80 missions between Scotland and Poland

 
chris-brown.jpeg
Chris Brown · CBC News · Posted: May 17, 2022 7:46 PM ET | Last Updated: May 17
 
canadian-hercules-pilots.jpg
An aircrew from Canadian Forces Base Trenton's 8 Wing pilot a C130-J Hercules aircraft to Poland from Prestwick, Scotland, for the next part of a journey transporting aid to Ukraine. (Chris Brown/CBC)

As the massive rear door of the Canadian C-17 Globemaster lowered to the runway in rainy Prestwick, Scotland, members of Canadian Forces Base Trenton's 8 Wing tactical airlift detachment pounced.

Within minutes, uniformed soldiers had unloaded pallets filled with what Canada's military euphemistically refers to as "lethal" and "non-lethal" aid — until one heavy load stopped them in their tracks.

It took at least 10 soldiers, a forklift and a lot of grunting and groaning before the secretive, heavy pallet was able to be transferred onto a trailer and towed up to a waiting C130-J Hercules for the next part of the journey to Ukraine.

CBC News was given unusual access this week to the operations of 8 Wing as aid destined for Ukraine was transported into Poland.

Reporting on what was in the cargo wasn't permitted — other than it was for both humanitarian and military purposes — but whatever was wrapped up tightly on the giant pallet stood out for the effort required to load it onboard.

 
globemaster.jpg
A Royal Canadian Air Force C-17 Globemaster is shown on the runway in Prestwick, Scotland, about 45 minutes from Glasgow, this week. The aircraft had been filled with 'lethal' and 'non-lethal' aid to assist Ukraine in its war with Russia. (Chris Brown/CBC)

Canada has said publicly that it is sending Ukraine four M777 howitzers, Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles, M72 Light Anti-tank Weapons (LAWs) and 7,500 hand grenades, along with different varieties of ammunition.

The military aid is part of a $1.2-billion package the Trudeau government has approved to help Ukraine respond to Russia's Feb. 24 invasion.

"Everyone is watching the news, so we know what is going on. We are proud to help Ukraine," said Sgt. Jimmy Noel,  one of 30 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force's 436 Transport Squadron that has set up a temporary base at the Prestwick airport, about 45 minutes from Glasgow.

 
unloading.jpg
A team from the RCAF's 429 Transport Squadron begins to transfer humanitarian and military aid from the large Globemaster aircraft to the smaller Hercules. (Chris Brown/CBC)

Two J-class Hercules military transport aircraft have been taking turns doing the runs into Poland using two aircrews.

"Since we got here at the beginning of March, we've flown approximately 80 missions," said Maj. Cam MacKay, who oversees the airlift operations at the Prestwick base.

"We've moved over 900,000 kilograms, which is just over two million pounds. And we fly pretty regularly. This is really our bread and butter."

 
on-tarmac.jpg
A Canadian C-17 Globemaster aircraft sits in the foreground and a C130-J Hercules is shown in the rear on the tarmac at Prestwick's airport. (Chris Brown/CBC)

Aid transported from Scotland to Poland

Canadian military pilots are legally allowed to fly 120 hours a month — and on the busy Hercules missions of late, they have usually come close to that.

The flight from Prestwick to their destination in Poland takes about three and a half hours and is mostly uneventful,  although the descent is an unusually long and gradual one.

The airport used as a base by NATO forces, which CBC News has been asked not to name, is relatively close to the Ukrainian border, and the skies around the airport contain restricted airspace — forcing incoming flights to fly lower than usual as they come in on their approach.

Open-source flight tracking sites on the internet often show NATO reconnaissance aircraft flying through the airspace,  monitoring activity in Ukraine.

 
cam-mackay.jpg
Maj. Cam MacKay oversees airlift operations at the Prestwick base. 'We've moved over 900,000 kilograms, which is just over two million pounds. And we fly pretty regularly,' he said. (Chris Brown/CBC)

As a hub for incoming aid to Ukraine, the airspace in eastern Poland is heavily guarded, and the United States has said publicly that it has installed state-of-the-art Patriot anti-missile systems in the region.

Russian officials have warned that it considers North Atlantic Treaty Organization flights and convoys carrying arms to Ukraine as "legitimate targets," but none have ever been attacked, and on the flight deck of the Hercules, MacKay said he believes the missions are safe.

"I don't really think about it. The government of Canada sent us here to do a job, and we're very proud to be doing that job. And we don't really think about the other piece," he said.

In Poland, an American ground crew met the Canadian plane and quickly unloaded the pallets from the rear of the Hercules — even the extremely heavy one was removed easily with the heavy-lift equipment at the NATO base.

 
cfb-prestwick.jpg
Canadian military personnel have dubbed their temporary home in Scotland as CFB Prestwick. (Chris Brown/CBC)

The ground stop lasted less than 30 minutes before the Hercules crew was back in the air again, heading to Brussels to prepare for another transport the following day.

"There's no fixed end date on the operation right now," MacKay said.

"That doesn't mean it's going to go on indefinitely, but we'll start rotating our personnel crews. We're just hearing very positive feedback."

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China warns Canada over air patrols monitoring North Korea sanctions busting

In this image made from video, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian gestures during a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office, April 6, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Liu Zheng)In this image made from video, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian gestures during a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office, April 6, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Liu Zheng)
 
 
 
BEIJING - 

China's foreign ministry warned Canada on Monday of potential "severe consequences" of any "risky provocation," after Canada's military last week accused Chinese warplanes of harassing its patrol aircraft monitoring North Korea sanctions busting.

"The UN Security Council has never authorized any country to carry out military surveillance in the seas and airspace of other countries in the name of enforcing sanctions," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a media briefing.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that Canada was an active member of "an important mission" in the North Pacific to ensure that sanctions on North Korea are properly enforced.

Chinese aircraft had sometimes forced Canadian planes to divert from their flight paths, Canada's military said last week.

Wu Qian, a defence ministry spokesman, said the Chinese military took reasonable measures to deal with Canada's actions and have made "solemn representations" via diplomatic channels.

China's defence ministry said in a statement that Canadian military jets have stepped up reconnaissance and "provocations" against China "under the pretext" of implementing UN Security Council resolutions, endangering China's national security.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom and Yew Lun Tian, writing by Liz Lee, editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Sad commentary when our National Aviation Museum isn’t interested in displaying one of the few iconic aircraft designed, built and flown in Canada….. but at least the United States are interested in preserving it…

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The lack of interest from Ottawa’s national aviation museum in acquiring the Royal Canadian Air Force’s last available Buffalo aircraft has prompted a U.S. organization to make a bid for the plane.

Officials with the Pima Air and Space Museum in Arizona, one of the largest aviation museums in the world, say they can provide an excellent home for the iconic RCAF search-and-rescue plane.

The RCAF removed the last of its six Buffalo planes from service in January. Four have already been donated to museums associated with the Canadian military while a fifth will be used for military firefighter training. That leaves one Buffalo still available.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/ottawa-museums-lack-of-interest-in-acquiring-rcaf-aircraft-prompts-offer-from-u-s

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RCAF CF-18 Demo Pilot Saves Aircraft After Real-Life ‘Top Gun’ Incident at Airshow

 
CF-18 birdstrike The Canadian Forces CF-18 Demo Team jet circles overhead at Willow Run Airport immediately after a bird was sucked into the aircraft's right engine (red circle). (All images: Author)

RCAF CF-18 Demo Hits Bird in Michigan In A Scene That Seemed To Be Right Out Of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’.

It was like a page torn from the script of the new Hollywood blockbuster, “Top Gun: Maverick”. But unlike the Hollywood version, the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Demonstration Team managed to land the aircraft after handling the emergency with cool professionalism.

On Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at the Wild Wednesday Air Show at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the Canadian Forces CF-18 Demonstration Team was headlining the mid-week evening airshow when their aircraft suffered a bird strike, that caused a loud explosion to be heard across the airport and led to an engine failure.

CF18Birdstrike_12-706x526.jpg Canadian Forces CF-18 Demo Team pilot, Capt. Jesse Haggart-Smith, taxis out for his flight demonstration immediately before the bird strike incident.

When RCAF Safety Pilot, Capt Kevin Mittelholtz, was asked if it was a bird strike that caused the engine explosion and flame out during the demo being flown by Capt. Jesse Haggart-Smith, Capt. Mittelholtz told TheAviationist, “Yeah, he saw it [the bird] airborne”.

CF18Birdstrike_20-706x401.jpg Canadian Forces CF-18 Demo Team pilot, Capt. Jesse Haggart-Smith, taxis out for his flight demonstration immediately before the bird strike incident.

The aircraft was near the upper portion of the aerobatic box, the airspace used for flight demos at airshows, when the crowd saw a bright explosion from the CF-18’s right, starboard engine. The explosion was heard by the crowd a second later as Capt. Haggart-Smith immediately leveled the aircraft and began his emergency checklist for recovery from an engine failure. As Capt. Haggart-Smith ran his checklist he circled over the demonstration field away from the airshow crowd. Once his emergency procedures were completed, he made a controlled landing without incident.

CF18Birdstrike_40-706x541.jpg CF-18 Demo Team members discuss the bird strike incident with Capt. Jesse Haggart-Smith following his emergency landing at Willow Run Airport on Wednesday.

The incident added some reality to the Hollywood fiction from the scene in “Top Gun: Maverick” where an F/A-18F suffers a bird strike, that eventually leads to a crash after both the crew members ejected.

But while the Canadian Forces RCAF CF-18 Demo Team handled Wednesday’s bird strike incident with professionalism, bird strikes can be catastrophic, even for large multi-engine commercial aircraft. Recall the January 15, 2009 bird strike incident when U.S. Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320 being flown by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, was forced to ditch in the Hudson River in New York after a bird strike caused both engines on the airliner to fail.

Wednesday’s incident was at least the second time a bird strike occurred during a flight demonstration at Willow Run Airport. In 2014, a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon flying as Thunderbird #3 flown by Maj. Caroline Jensen, ingested a bird into its intake. Maj. Jensen was able to keep the F-16’s engine running and made an emergency landing before switching the team’s reserve jet to rejoin the diamond formation and complete the show.

While bird strikes are always serious, especially in single or twin engine tactical aircraft with only one crewmember, Wednesday’s incident demonstrated the real world of military aviation and the professionalism of military pilots such as Capt. Jesse Haggart-Smith.

 
 
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About Tom Demerly

 

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