Three die in crash of Canadian Search and Rescue Helicopter

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Canadian Forces CH-149 of 413 Squadron based at CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia crashed while conducting a night training exercise. Killed in the incident were Sgt. Duane Brazil, 39; Master Cpl. Kirk Noel, 33; and Cpl. Trevor McDavid, 31.

The aircraft was conducting a hoist operation at 12:30 AM local time near a Canadian Coast Guard Vessel. The helicopter ditched near the ship and suffered damage to the forward fuselage but remained floating. All seven crew were recovered from the wreckage. In addition to the three killed, four others were taken to hospital. One of the injured was transported by air ambulance to Halifax for further treatment.

The CH-149 is a Canadian designation for the AgustaWestland EH101 built in Italy. Canada purchased 15 for Search and Rescue duties. This is the first fatal crash in Canadian service. The aircraft were previously grounded due to cracks in critical rotor components which were believed to be the cause of the crash of a British Merlin (EH101) in 2004.

The aircraft involved was number 149914 indicating it was the 14th of the 15 aircraft delivered (serials 149901 to 149915).

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