Category Archives: Aviation

SeaKings to Live on.

Despite having celebrated 50 years of operational service in 2013, and Officially being retired last year. 15 CH-124 Sea Kings will live on, having been sold to Rotor Maxx Support Limited of BC.

Retired SeaKing outside 12 wing Shearwater.

Rotor Max specialized in the support and maintenance of the the Seaking, and its S-61 civilian variant. The 15 Helicopters will be refurbished and leased out to Rotor Max clients to compliment their fleet of eight S-61’s. The acquisition includes a significant inventory of parts, tooling and equipment which will support Rotor max’s business going forward.

the Ex RCAF Seakings were delivered in 1963.

Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum

This past Saturday, I swung by the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum out by the airport. Despite passing it regularly, I had never actually stopped in.

The museum is worth the stop – its small, but has alot of aircraft, but the exhibits are well done. Admission is by donation (8$ for adults suggested)

Find the Museum at:
20 Sky Blvd, Goffs,
NS, B2T 1K3

Exit 6 off Highway 102
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Red Arrows Flypast

The RAF demo team began a North American tour with a demonstration over the Harbour Today. The Team was the final Act that featured RCAF aircraft in use on the East Coast.

CH-146 Griffon
the Seaking replacement CH-148 Cyclone
The CH-149 Cormorant Sar Helicopter
the C-130 Hercules
CP-140 Aurora
RAF Airbus A400m transport. this would be equivilant to the C177 Globemaster

The red arrows then performed. The RCAF uses the same Hawk jet as its primary jet training aircraft.

Out at YHZ

NASP Dash8-100

I went out to towards the airport to Visit the Atlantic Aviation Museum, and then spent some time Plane Spotting. It was a productive outing.

Flair Airlines 737
Pal Airlines King Air
RAF A400m transport
RAF A400m transport
DFO Beechcraft used for fisheries monitoring.

NATO Exercise Cutlass Fury comes to Halifax in Sept.

NATO exercise Cutlass Fury will be coming to Halifax this September. Ships should begin arriving the first week of September.

At Yesterdays council meeting, the City approved a flypast request for the opening of Cutlass Fury 2019. The exercise will see 22 warships departing the basin Sept 9, and will be overflown by a Cyclone from Shearwater, 4 Hornets from Bagotville, 2 alpha jets from top aces, and a CP140 from greenwood. the Flyover is scheduled for 1300.

The last Cutlass Fury took place in 2016, and was about half the size of this years edition. Canada, the United States, The United Kingdom, Spain, France and Germany took part in that exercise.

Halifax Based Leeway marine will also be providing a “vessel of interest” to the exercise participants.

Cutlass fury runs Sept 9-20, The area of operation will be approximately 50-100 nm southeast of Halifax Harbour.

The case for some contract SAR services

RCAF Cormorant – AKA the EH-101. used for SAR Services in Canada.

Today’s Herald features a piece by Andrea Gunn about the possibility of civilian contractors filling gaps in SAR service. One of those gaps is the short summer season in the arctic.

To date, the government has resisted stationing a helicopter in the arctic during the summer shipping season. They have claimed that this would be removing resources from other areas, and their simply isn’t the need for it in the north.

Cougar S-92 lowering a SAR Tech. Cougar Photo.

Given the relatively short summer season, Helicopter SAR services could be provided on a contract basis. Cougar Helicopters, who fly out of Halifax and St. John’s are able to provide contract all weather rescue services using S-92 Helicopters – the civilian version of the Air Force’s new Cyclone Helicopters. Cougar Helicopters offers this service commercially now, and regularly practices off Halifax.

RCAF Cyclone – the military version of the S-92

Nunatsiaq news reported that the much vaunted deep water Naval Station at Nanivsk, announced under the Harper Government, and has been slow to materialize – Construction started in 2015, and is due to be completed next summer. The port will serve as a re supply base for navy and Coast guard vessels.  It would be a logical place to station Sar Assets.

The case of the grounding of the Akademik Ioffe shows how vitally important it, and SAR helicopter service is to the arctic. Two Helicopters were dispatched from central Canada, but had long flight times, and required fuel stops. Two other cases show how helicopters are needed in the Arctic

On August 29th, 2 men were rescued after their 11m sailboat “Anahita” became trapped in ice and sunk in the Bellot Straight. The Men were found on a ice flow, with warm clothes, food and water, and a life raft. They were rescued by the coast guard icebreaker Henry Larsen’s helicopter, after the closest ship was delayed due to ice.

Two Inuit hunters were also rescued by the Louis St Laurent helicopter after a polar bear attack.  A 2009 senate report identified increasing numbers of pleasure craft in the arctic as a source of significant risk, along with foreign vessels unsuitable for arctic travel transiting Canadian waters.

Given the constrained supply of SAR Resources in existing areas – contract services should be considered.

747 Crashes at End of Runway 14 YHZ

Wednesday Morning a Sky Lease Cargo plane, operating as flight KKE 4854 arrived from Chicago and slid off the end of runway 14 while landing at YHZ. the crew of 4 suffered minor injuries. the The plane took out the localizer antenna at the end of the runway, had the landing gear collapse, and lost both inboard engines. A large crease (below) suggests this is a Hull loss incident.

the 747-400 was arriving empty to load seafood for china. Im told the Chinese characters on the other side read “Have fish every year”


A TSB conference yesterday suggested weather may have been a factor, with strong Tail and cross winds, and Rain at the time, the Incident occurred at the end of the shorter of the 2 runways – with strong winds and rains the pilots decision to use that runway will also be a source of inquiry. the TSB reports the winds were 250degress magnetic, which is almost a perfect cross wind fro landing on runway 14.

in 2004, another cargo plane, also a 747 crashed on takeoff. MK airlines flight 1602 was not configured properly for flight, and crashed at the end of runway 23.  AC 624 landed short of runway 05 in March 2015. Improvements made after the crash of MK1602 likely significantly reduced the severity of that crash.


Operations were more or less normal, with the main 05/23 runway in operation, while the investigation continues.


UPDATE 11/14:

ATC Audio is available. the video also lists some limits for landing.

AC624 – Normal vs Not Normal.

By now, we have all seen and heard the stories about the landing of AC624, A Toronto to Halifax flight with a A320 Aircraft. This route and aircraft land in Halifax dozens of times per week. Saturday night, this one came up short.

Runway 05/23 is the main runway at YHZ. runway 05 is a quick landing, as after you exit the runway, you end up at the terminal. this runway was extended in 2012, and may have reduced the impact of this crash.

The MK airlines crash, the Same ILS Antenna was taken out, however then it was on a berm. the space between the berm and the end of the runway was filled in as part of the Extension.
note the Alignment of Runway 05 and taxiway J in 2007:

And now, on the Current Chart.

(Below) the aircraft sits on the runway. the ILS Localizer lays broken on the left at the end of the runway.

Compare that with the normal Approach below. Note the plane is also an Air Canada A320. Also note that windsock above.

Here is the touchdown. Rear wheels are down, and the nose is coming down. Note the windsock. AC624 came to rest right where it should have touched down.

How Low was the plane? Here is the crater it left in the snow, and on the left the remains of the ILS Localizer. also note the snapped off lead light in the foreground. thats an 8 foot fence.

These are the leading lights in advance of the broken one. Note the height difference.  This flight was luckey. The aircraft clipped powerlines, but somehow managed to miss the wooden telephone poles. also the large dent in the snow probably cushioned the impact, as the recent snowfalls were still relatively fluffy compared to the earth mound.

Below an AC flight landing. this is landing on runway 23. Note the clearance over the localizer

Parts of the Landing Gear lie among parts of the localizer, and the right side of the runway.

Thanks to ADS-B, You can watch a replay of the flight Here

Expanded Life Extension Program for CP-140 Aurora Aircraft.

Canada is expanding its fleet of upgraded Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft. Through an existing modernization and life-extension program, four
additional Aurora aircraft will gain new and enhanced capabilities and
extended service lives. This will expand Canada’s current upgraded fleet
to a total of 14 Auroras.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, accompanied by the Regional Minister
for Nova Scotia and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada,
Peter MacKay, made the announcement at 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia,yesterday .14 Wing and 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia, are the home bases for Canada’s Aurora fleet.

The Aurora program is a Canadian innovation success story, with
Canadian industry delivering a world class capability. With new wings
and tail, the Auroras will be restored to a “like new” configuration in
terms of the critical structural components, extending the structural
life to 2030. At that time, Canada will be better placed to buy its next
Canadian multi-mission aircraft.

The addition of four more updated Aurora aircraft is Canada’s best
means of ensuring effective piloted airborne intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities into the future, and the best use
of taxpayer dollars.

The four additional aircraft will be modernized and life-extended
under the existing competitively-awarded industry contracts. These
enhancements and modifications are expected to be completed by 2021, and
extend the operational effectiveness of the 14 modernized Aurora
aircraft from 2020 to 2030

The CP-140 is the CAF’s primary piloted Intelligence, Surveillance
and Reconnaissance (ISR) plane, ensuring the military’s ability to
detect threats to Canadian security as early as possible.  The Aurora
fleet contributes directly to all three Canada First Defence
Strategy roles – domestic, continental and international. The Auroras
conduct ISR in both the maritime and overland roles.  In the maritime
role, the CP-140 contributes to sovereignty, fisheries enforcement,
smuggling and pollution patrols, counter-narcotics missions, and
maritime counter-terrorism operations. It also fulfills an important
anti-submarine role, as the only CAF aircraft able to react and quickly
respond from long-range in the event of unauthorized presence of
submarines in Canada’s coastal approaches. The Aurora can fly
approximately 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km) without refuelling and so
gives the Government of Canada a means to deter and control illegal or
hostile activity anywhere in Canada’s maritime approaches from the
Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.

The Aurora fleet is also playing an increasingly important role as an
overland ISR platform, both domestically for surveillance of our Arctic
territory and other security operations, and in support of missions
abroad. For example, Aurora aircraft was used during the CAF’s
contribution to security efforts for the Vancouver Olympics and the 2010
G8 and G20 Summits; and the two Auroras deployed on Operation MOBILE
were critical to the success of our mission in Libya, where they
identified targets for allies and Canadian CF-18s.

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