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Chinook named as intended purchase through PWGSC Advance Contract Award Notice

beenthere

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If they spread them out all over the country they won't provide much service to anyone. If there are 16 to begin with any less than 8 per location would be ineffective. Unless there was one Sqn. with  maybe 11 and it also served as the OTU and maintenance facility and the Sqn. with 5 was strictly operational without the training and maintenance burden. If anyone thinks that locating them with an already established light helicopter sqn. would be beneficial they can't be aware of the vast difference between providing support for the little sports models and the 18 wheelers. There is no commonality between the Griffon's and Chinooks and technical folks would never learn the Chinook and Griffon well enough to to be employed on both at the same time without causing more problems than they fix because of inexperience.
Also even in a newly established Sqn. with nothing but Chinooks the learning process is going to be long and slow so the availability rate of aircraft will be very low for a considerable time. It will take years to create the experience level necessary for operators and maintainers to make the operation viable.
 

GAP

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Would it be feasible for a service group (size ukn??) to OJT'd the an American outfit for a suitable period of time to gain initial experience?
 

beenthere

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Other factors. Support equipment such as work stands,hydraulic test equipment , ground power units,  electronic test equipment ,engine test & run up facilities, and all of the other support equipment are expensive and require trained and qualified personnel to operate and maintain them. It's all sophisticated and has to be maintained to the same level as the aircraft themselves. On a location like Pettawawa the light helicopters have a small number of support items and the Sqn. looks after their own items. On an air base which has a fleet of support equipment there is a facility that is dedicated to servicing and maintaining the support equipment. The staff are all aircraft maintenance technicians and have to become qualified on maintenance procedures. Faulty test equipment can damage or destroy aircraft. The Chinook is a hydraulic pig which requires hydraulic test stands for many maintenance procedures and with 8 Chinooks it would not be unrealistic to require 5 test stands considering that out of the 5 only 4 would be serviceable at any given time.
Spare parts are consumed at unbelievable levels by teams of inexperienced technicians who resort to changing most of the components in a system in a poorly directed effort to fix something that they don't understand. If the spares are located half way across the country they will not be available for todays efforts so they will take parts off other aircraft resulting in two aircraft being out of service rather than one. If they suspect that a component is unserviceable it will be sent to a contractor for a $20,000 checkup and will be out of the system for months resulting in shortages.
New, large, hard to manoeuvre aircraft have a way of finding themselves being turned into tree cutters or end up landing on tree stumps,rocks and fire hydrants which punch huge holes in the undersides and require weeks of work by several machinists and metal technicians to replace the broken ribs and skin. I would guess that all of  the Sqns. that operate Griffons would not have enough metal techs among them to do one serious repair job on a Chinook. Every air base has a metals and refinishing shop dedicated to this kind of work. To equip such a shop is probably almost as expensive as buying a Chinook and requires about 50 highly trained people who do metalworking, machinist work, painting, aircraft welding, composites repair and all of the other material fabrication and repair specialities required to support a fleet of aircraft.
Another specialty is non destructive testing (NDT)which involves non invasive techniques to discover cracks in airframe components. The bigger and higher stressed aircraft and in particular heavy helicopters no matter how well designed and built they may be are susceptible to developing cracks in highly stressed areas and in areas subject to vibration and virtually every aircraft has to have periodic X-Rays or other tests to discover new cracks and to monitor the growth of old ones. I don't know the present location of NDT facilities but I suspect that most or all of them are located on air bases where they do regular inspections and respond immediately if something that looks suspicious shows up during regular flight line operational inspections. They make off base calls but if you're located in Petawawa or Valcartier you may wait for a couple of days to have that suspicious looking blotch on a transmission mount checked out.
My opinion is that the Chinook is a large and sophisticated  aircraft in comparison to the Griffon and that it requires a lot more of everything in the way of support and that it would be at a great disadvantage if it were located in an environment without the necessary support facilities.
My opinion is based on several years of experience of first maintaining CH-113A helicopters and later flying on them as a Flight Engineer and on their replacement the CH-147 Chinook as a Flight Engineer and lastly on CC-130s.
Obtaining the aircraft is only one first step. They will require a lot of care and feeding over their lifetime which I suspect will span many decades and where they operate from will have a huge impact on the service that they will provide. If they are based where they can get the support that they demand they will serve accordingly.
 

beenthere

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GAP said:
Would it be feasible for a service group (size ukn??) to OJT'd the an American outfit for a suitable period of time to gain initial experience?
Something like that was done when we bought our first Chinooks and not much of value resulted. A crew and a group of technicians from Edmonton spent some time in Alaska with a Chinook unit and came back having learned little of any value. From what I recall their operation is considerably different or at least it was at that time and their aircraft weren't flown very much and if one was unserviceable the time between a technical problem occurring and when they decided to fix it was so long that it was hard to follow up on what they did to rectify a problem.
Things may have changed since then but that would only be speculation. I was on a crew that accepted one of our Chinooks from New Cumberland Army Depot in Pennsylvania and encountered a rather different attitude than what we are used to. If the aircraft isn't serviceable for the flight that was planned for today it could be a couple of days before anything is done to fix it. We just got back into our rental cars and toured the state. Eventually we'd get a call at the hotel advising us that the aircraft would be ready for another try in a day or two. Any attempts to learn how they rectified problems were met with indifference and the people who we signed the aircraft out from didn't even know the people who do the maintenance.
The organization seemed just like a whole army of its own and everyone just worked on orders and didn't know what happened outside of their own little component.
 

DocBacon

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For some unknown reason, military (yes, that includes Canada's) aircraft maintainers seem to require more time to maintain an aircraft than their civvy counterparts.  I cite the current fleet of SeaPigs, doomed to extinction in the military fleet due to obsolescence while their civvy brethren chug along with many more airframe hours and pulling heavier and more frequent loads (logging).

My point is that perhaps a different approach to maintenance, utilizing more non-milspec techs, could improve dispatch rates and steepen the learning curve for the CF crews.

After all, those ex-CF Tandem-pig crews went somewhere.
 
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aesop081

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DocBacon said:
For some unknown reason, military (yes, that includes Canada's) aircraft maintainers seem to require more time to maintain an aircraft than their civvy counterparts.  I cite the current fleet of SeaPigs, doomed to extinction in the military fleet due to obsolescence while their civvy brethren chug along with many more airframe hours and pulling heavier and more frequent loads (logging).

My point is that perhaps a different approach to maintenance, utilizing more non-milspec techs, could improve dispatch rates and steepen the learning curve for the CF crews.

After all, those ex-CF Tandem-pig crews went somewhere.

Military flying and civy flying are 2 very different beast.  In the case of the sea kings and your logging choppers, consider that flying from a ship over the north atlantic at low altitude and i shitty weather will have more of a deteriorating effect on an aircraft than lifting logs all day.  For example, an Aurora may only have 21 000 hours but i guaratee most of that is done at 300 feet over a sea state 6 being bounced around like exploding popcorn......find me a civie plane that takes a beating like that and see how long it lasts.
 

DocBacon

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Actually, I do understand the difference between military and civvy flight ops, as well as the difference between rotary and fixed wing flying machines.  As well, I have (dated) experience with nap-of-the-earth flying in 10Tag's old aircraft and with maintaining medium-lift heli's in civvy ops.

Maintenance is not magic: the old S61's logging the big sticks off the coastal ranges are working harder that the SeaPigs ever have, for longer hours, and with higher dispatch rates.  They fly in the same salt-laden air (often staging off barges) and pull max loads up and down the mountains in all but the worst weather.  Only when landing do the 'Pigs have it worst: nobody beartraps a 61 to the deck.

Again: my point is that there is a pool of expertise out there if the CF doesn't insist that the tool on the end of the wrench is green (or blue, whatever).  If the maintenance crew and maintenance practices are not changed the results won't either.
 
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aesop081

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DocBacon said:
if the CF doesn't insist that the tool on the end of the wrench is green (or blue, whatever).  .

The maintainers are green because the machines are not always flying here in the relative safety of the Canadian landmass.  The CH-149 is maintained by civlian contractor because its a national SAR bird and doesnt deploy anywhere.  If the Chinooks are going to the Ghan...we dont need civy techs out there fixing our machines.
 

beenthere

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I know one guy who spent a year in Iraq on contract maintaining US Chinooks and many who worked on contract maintaining Saudi Hercs. I was there for a while as well but not on the maintenance side. They have lots of contractors flying their aircraft.
The military actually go out of their way inventing more maintenance rather than streamlining it. There used to be a ratio of something like one maintenance officer (AERE?) for every aircraft engine in the Cdn. Forces. They dwell mostly in closets in Ottawa working on new schemes to make themselves invaluable and irreplaceable.
It takes years of "studies" to change the frequency of maintenance functions and by the time they start to streamline the functions they start all over again on reviewing the new plan that they hatched because they are now dealing with aircraft that are getting older and need more frequent maintenance functions.
Technicians who maintain the aircraft spend several years becoming competent on one particular aircraft type and just when they really get to know the aircraft they get posted to a new base with different aircraft and they start the learning process all over again.
The only thing that is consistent is change.
 

GAP

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aesop081 said:
The maintainers are green because the machines are not always flying here in the relative safety of the Canadian landmass.  The CH-149 is maintained by civilian contractor because its a national SAR bird and doesn't deploy anywhere.  If the Chinooks are going to the Ghan...we don't need civy techs out there fixing our machines.

Is there not US or other chinook maintainers in Kandahar, whether clvi or forces? I should think that a deal could be worked out re: facilities, work, shared duties, etc.  What I have read above kinda sounds right (probably because it is), but it is within the purview of the upper-uppers to either make a deal or setup a dedicated team, give them the resources (if that is the equivalent of a Chinook, so be it) and then demand the type of service you require.

my 2 cents
 

beenthere

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A deployment is a long way down the road at this time. 16 Aircraft  require about 40 crews depending on manning levels and they have to be trained to an operational status which means a lot more than simply being able to fly the aircraft. I would suggest that the whole process will take years considering that in the initial stages aircraft availability will be at the low end as there are no technicians with any experience on Chinooks and there will be lots of downtime for maintenance.
I don't know how many aircraft would be required to provide support for our contingent but I would speculate that 7 would be a reasonable number considering that from that number it would be possible to have 4 available for use most of the time. Just speculation of course as I have no knowledge of the nature of our operations and they will no doubt be different in the future.

 

geo

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Oh well... if we don't have em for this mission......
There'll always be the next one
 

h3tacco

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Start thread jack...

Doc Bacon your asseration that S-61 logging helos work harder and are maintained better CF CH-124 is completely unfounded. Civy logging S-61s do not fly in all sorts of weather they fly in VMC weather. Heli-loggin is a VFR evolution I would be greating impressed if someone could conduct those sorts of of evolutions IFR.  The environment they work in is harsh but is not anything near as harsh a what a shipborne helo operates. Heli-logging, even when  basing off a barge in the coastal environment, does not eqaute to the same salt -water environment. CH-124s spend hours every flight low-level and hovering over salt water. Heli-logging is for the most part an overland operation even if they are dropping logs into coastal rivers or seas. Likewise a the harsh environment does not stop for a CH-124 after landing. The aircraft is folded up a stored inside the ship, which continues to move. As the ship moves the CH-124 is constantly strained against its lashings. Ask any of the other Sea King folks what this is like when the rolls get greater than 25 degrees. Furthermore a Heli-logging S-61 is no where near as complex as a CH-124. The S-61 does not have any of the following Radar, sonar, doppler, TACNAV, 1960s UHF and HF radio, ARM't system, Directioning finding  I doubt they have a coupler (though could be wrong), folding head and tail, retractable gear etc While Heli-logging S-61s may have more hours on their airframes they are almost all newer built and the basic equipment they do have is much more modern. While at sea it is not unsual for Sea Kings to fly 12hrs a day and generally when they do break major delays in repair are almost always caused by waiting for replacement parts. When is the last time a Heli-logging S-61 had to wait for a part from litterally around the world to arrive and not to an international airport but to a ship a 100 miles out at sea.  While I am sure Heli-logging techinicians work in difficult conditions I find it hard to believe they work harder, longer, or smarter or in more difficult conditions than CH-124 techs. If you do not believe me then spend a week in 10m seas on a CPF trying to maintain the mighty Sea  Pig.

End thread Jack...
 

SeaKingTacco

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h3tacco has neatly summed up everything that I was going to say...

end-thread jack.


Chinooks!  Cool....
 

childs56

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You can equate a large majority of Heli logging to what a Tac Hel unit would be subjected to. Lots of work low to the ground in dusty environments. The maintenance for the most part is done either at land based stations located in the bush, on barges in the water or at airports. The latter in carried out very little.
If the choppers are dumping their loads into the water then they are usually subjected to spray and that. They need to be fairly close to dump the logs, so as to not have them drive into the floor.
Last time I checked a lot of the companies were running the living day lights out of their choppers. They started them at first light and ran them until  just 1 hour before dark Unless they broke down before hand. This included hot refuels and hot seats. (Not sure they may have stopped that due to DOT). 
Most Heli logging choppers are routinely subjected to max gross loads and high stress from dropping logs.  Although heli logging takes place in VFR conditions only and under light wind conditions. As most know when travelling in the mountains that wind shear can and will be very severe. What conditions at the top of the mountain maybe different then what is at the bottom.

As for parts and that. Well honestly if we wanted to up grade our Sea Kings and or the Labs we could have. Then most of the parts would have been only a short distance away and new.
In reality we should be operating in a Carrier convoy that has daily flights into and out of the land based world. This would solve most of the problems associated with parts supply and the difficulties of transporting them long distances at sea. 

I think both Worlds Civie and Military have their points on being hard on their A/C. Whom is harder or better at maintaining them is something to be left up in the air. Both worlds have different standards of what is acceptable or not in their Air Worthiness plans. Fortunately on the civie side things seem to be more black and white in regards to this. Although there are some out their whom buck the system for the most part Civie aviation have more rules to follow and it is harder to circumvent those.
As opposed to the Military although they maintain air worthiness and adhere to strict maintenance practices, if at any time a problem or a fix is deemed an essential asset then ( what is essential is up to the Local Commander)  they have the authority to waive certain practices with in their guide lines. Not the same as civie side.

 

IN HOC SIGNO

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So if we're going to have 7 in theatre and 9 or so back here it may be in the CFs interest to base them in Trenton where they can be transported (in our C17s?) out to where they are needed. we already have hanger facilities there and we used to maintain the Labs out of there.
Perhaps they will have to deploy to Wainwright when the Task Groups go there to train for the missions etc.
we would be close to where we can get tech support for the Sqn from the industry and we have the capability to expand Trenton's manpower and infrastructure...and we don't have to reinvent the wheel too much...i.e. building new hanger facilities etc.
 

geo

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Hangar space is the least of our problems.
After disposing of our expertise in maintaining the beasts, we have to reinvent the wheel and write up new manuals.  This is gonna take time and money, lots of money........
and if the Mfg says the new ones are half as expensive to maintain as the earlier versions.... they've found other ways of making it expensive

IMHO
 

IN HOC SIGNO

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geo said:
Hangar space is the least of our problems.
After disposing of our expertise in maintaining the beasts, we have to reinvent the wheel and write up new manuals.  This is gonna take time and money, lots of money........
and if the Mfg says the new ones are half as expensive to maintain as the earlier versions.... they've found other ways of making it expensive

IMHO

Yeah gotcha....and of course if we do ahead with a BHS we'll probably fly some of them off the ship thus need to either base some in Shearwater or at least be able to have a facility to do preps for them to go on ship after coming from an Air Base somewhere else.
 

big bad john

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I thought that this tidbit might be of interest from todays Army Times Early Bird Report:

Boeing May Win $7.3B Contract To Deliver Aircraft
(Miami Herald, July 6, 2006)
Boeing may win a $7.3 billion order for military aircraft from Canada's government because it may be the only supplier that can meet the country's requirements. The company won an interim notice to supply Canada's military with CH-47 Chinook helicopters and C-17 Globemaster transports. Boeing is the only company that can deliver the aircraft as ordered "in a timely manner," Canada's Public Works Department said in a statement.
 
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