The Navy’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit along with C Squadron, 5 Aviation Regiment has conducted a ‘quick look’ trial of the CH-47D Chinook onboard the Navy’s Flag Ship, HMAS Canberra. The trials were conducted over a week with preliminary work being conducted at HMAS Albatross and the flying trials conducted at sea on 20-21 October 2015.
The Chinook helicopter conducted a series of evolutions to HMAS Canberra’s flight deck including launch and recoveries along with an assessment of external load operations known as vertical replenishment or VERTREP. An assessment was also made of aircraft lashing schemes and refuelling procedures.
This trial was the precursor for a full First of Class Flight Trial planned for the CH-47F in late 2016. The CH-47D and CH-47F are both operated by C Squadron from Townsville in Queensland.
Commander Air HMAS Canberra, Commander Paul Moggach, said the trial represented another milestone in operational capability for the ship."We are already authorised for deck operations with MRH-90 Taipan and S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters, and the Chinook activity this week has further expanded our knowledge," he said.
"We look forward to operating with Army helicopters in support of our amphibious roles."
The outcome of the trial is to provide a limited CH-47D operating envelope to the Landing Helicopter Dock or amphibious assault ship.