Above image: Left, a CH-147F Chinook prepares for landing at Thompson, Manitoba during Operation VECTOR on May 12, 2021. Please by: MCpl Genevieve Lapointe, Canadian Forces Combat Camera, Canadian Armed Forces Photo. Right, a map of the location of where the CH-147F Chinook went missing.
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and emergency crews are currently searching for two missing members of 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron after a CH-147F Chinook crashed in the Ottawa River early Tuesday morning.
“Garrison Petawawa and the RCAF is aware of an incident involving a CH147 Chinook helicopter in the Ottawa River near Garrison Petawawa at approximately 1210am local. First responders are currently on scene,” said Public Affairs Officer Daphny Gebhart-Turcotte.
The crash took place during a training flight.
Missing crew members
According to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), the missing crew members are part of a total crew of four members who were on the helicopter at the time of the incident. Two members were found by first responders and taken to the hospital in Pembroke while the search continues for the other two.
“Our thoughts are with the crew of the helicopter, their families and all the member of 450 Squadron and Garrison Petawawa at this time,” stated a press release from the CAF.
A Combined Effort
Approximately 50 CAF members searching onshore and in the water are joined by an Ontario Provincial Police marine unit, Petawawa and Pembroke Fire Departments and search and rescue aircraft from the RCAF’s 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron.
Aircraft involved includes a Griffon SAR helicopter, Hercules aircraft and a 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron Griffon.
Notice to Public
The Garrison’s message concerned boating on the Ottawa River
“Garrison Petawawa and emergency response crews are responding to an incident involving a CH-147 Chinook helicopter operating near the Ottawa River at approximately 12:10 a.m. Tuesday, June 20th. We ask for Ottawa River boaters assistance in being cooperative and to remain away from the operational side of the Garrison and Black Bear Beach.
“The area will be cordoned off and the Ontario Provincial Police will be patrolling the area, ” Garrison Petawawa Facebook page.
As of 10:40 a.m., due to ongoing emergency services on the base, access to Garrison Petawawa has been restricted, with all traffic on and off base going through the main gate, as the two side gates were closed.
Driver’s identification is also being checked at the front gate, with personnel asking their entry reasons.
CH-147F Chinook helicopter aircraft
The Government of Canada acquired a total of 15 CH-147F Chinook helicopter aircraft.
The total estimated cost in 2009 for the project was $5 billion, with $2.3 billion for project acquisition costs, and $2.7 billion for the 20-year in-service support program.
“The primary mission of the CH-147F Chinook is the tactical transport of equipment and personnel during domestic or deployed operations. The new Chinooks have been modified to operate with maximum effectiveness in Canada and on Canadian operations, including an increased internal fuel capacity that allows it to fly twice as far as previous models. With this new fleet, the Canadian Armed Forces increase their ability to deploy rapidly, and to perform complex operations both at home and abroad,” according to the Media Liaison Office.
The Government announced a contract amendment for Boeing Company in June 2013, to provide 20 years of in-service support for the helicopters.