AgustaWestland has congratulated the Canadian Forces on achieving the benchmark of 40,000 operating hours with its fleet of AW101 search and rescue mid/heavy helicopters. The Canadian Forces has 14 of the helicopters designated the CH-149 “Cormorant” which entered service between 2000 and 2002.
The Canadian Forces have a higher flying rate than any other AW101 fleet and Cormorant 901, currently flying out of Canadian Forces Base Comox with 442 Squadron, has the highest number of airframe hours on any of the AW101s anywhere in the world. To date, AgustaWestland has awarded 34 Cormorant crew members with 1,000 flight hour certificates and two crew members with 2,000-hour certificates.
During this time, Canadian Forces personnel have conducted thousands of missions and hundreds of rescues including:
• A 1,200 km. round-trip rescue off Newfoundland;
• A night time rescue from 30-metre deep crevasse 8,700’ up the side of an icy glacier;
• A 3,500 km trip to rescue a hunter stranded on an Arctic ice flow.
The Cormorant has a mission availability rate in excess of 98 per cent attesting to its reliability for emergency and critical mission deployment. The fact that the Cormorant can be relied upon to launch for rescue virtually anytime, anywhere, can also be credited to the hard work of the aerospace division at IMP Group Ltd., which is contracted by the Canadian Forces to provide the helicopter’s in-service support (ISS).
Over 190 AW101 helicopters have been built or sold to civil and military customers around the world in a wide variety of configurations. The worldwide fleet had achieved in excess of 200,000 flight hours in Canada, UK, Italy, Denmark, Portugal, and Japan providing exceptional performance and an extremely high degree of safety.