CH148822 Cyclone - From the Investigator

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Report / June 8, 2020 / Project number: CH148822-A-Cat

Location: Ionian Sea
Date: 29 April 2020
Status: Investigation Ongoing

On 29 April 2020, the aircrew were tasked as part of Operation REASSURANCE to conduct a routine surface reconnaissance mission in the Ionian Sea followed by flight deck evolutions for aircrew proficiency upon recovery to HMCS Fredericton. There were four crewmembers and two passengers on board the aircraft.

During the return for recovery, the aircraft made a pass on the port side of the ship,  from stern to bow. The aircraft then executed a left hand turn to establish a downwind leg in preparation for approach to the ship.  Astern and inside the control zone of the ship, the aircraft commenced a final left turn to set-up for the approach. During this final complex manoeuvring turn to close with the ship, the aircraft did not respond as the crew would have anticipated. This event occurred at a low altitude, was unrecoverable and the aircraft entered a high energy descent and impacted the water astern the ship.

The aircraft was destroyed and all six occupants were fatally injured.

The investigation is focusing on aircraft systems and human factors.

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