The trials were conducted in February by elements of Army’s 5 Aviation Regiment (5Avn) and the RAN’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit (AMAFTU), and comprised 206 day and night aircraft launches and a total of 66 flight hours.
The trials were conducted off the coats of northern Queensland near the Chinooks’ Townsville base, and were designed to determine the Ship Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOL) which define the conditions for the safe conduct of CH-47F flying operations from the ship.
“The CH-47F is a reliable workhorse with a great reputation for delivering cargo on time and on target,” Commanding Officer HMAS Choules, CMDR David Graham told Navy Daily. “I am looking forward to seeing them in Choules on future operations.”
AMAFTU’S LTCDR Angus Hamilton said conducting First of Class Flight Trials involving the integration of an Army aircraft into the maritime environment was a very complex process with a number of interesting challenges.
“The combined Navy and Army flight test team has brought together the expertise of both the aircraft and maritime aviation operations,” he said. “Additionally, the extensive ship-specific knowledge provided by Choules’ ship’s company, has allowed us to develop an enduring capability for both Choules and the CH-47F.”