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Canada suspends Hawk operations following NFTC crash

Canada has suspended operations with its BAE Systems Hawk 115 advanced jet trainers while an investigation is conducted into a non-fatal accident at its Cold Lake air base in Alberta on 10 June.

The crew of the locally designated CT-155 ejected from their aircraft after reporting a problem with its Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour 871 engine. Both instructors with Cold Lake-based 419 Sqn, they had been attempting to return to the base, but were forced to abandon the trainer shortly before it came down around 4km (2.2nm) southeast of the airfield.

From the Canadian and Danish air forces, the pilots escaped with only minor burns caused during the ejection sequence.

 
© Canadian Department of National Defence

"At this time, and as a precautionary measure, an operational pause on the CT-155 fleet has been ordered until such time that findings indicate no fleet-wide issues were likely cause factors in this accident," Canada's Department of National Defence said.

"The investigation will take as long as it needs to properly examine the incident and take whatever actions are necessary to ensure the safe operation of these aircraft."

Operated under the Bombardier-run NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) scheme, the CT-155 fleet is used to deliver advanced and lead-in fighter training services to the Canadian Forces and several partner nations at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Cold Lake.

Operational since 2000, the NFTC system also uses a fleet of Beechcraft T-6A Harvard II basic trainers. The 10 June incident represents its third loss of a Hawk since services began, and reduces its fleet of the type to 16, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.

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