The Navy’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit (AMAFTU) has commenced deck handling trials with the Army’s new CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters on board the LHD amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra.
Two Foxtrot Chinooks, A15-304 and -307, from C Squadron, 5 Aviation Regiment landed on board the Canberra for the first time while it was alongside at Garden Island, Sydney on May 17.
The deck handling trials are a prelude to first of class flight trials, expected to be held later this year, and checked that flightdeck markings, securing fittings, associated ground equipment, hangar arrangements and procedures are suitable for the Foxtrots when they are embarked on the LHDs.
The trials also assessed the removal of the Chinook’s six giant blades and lowering the helicopter below to the hangar deck via the LHD’s rear aircraft lift.
The Army’s CH-47F fleets surpassed the 1,000 flying hour mark last month, less than 12 months after the type entered service.
All images Department of Defence