Single-engine F-35 a bad choice for Canada’s Arctic, report finds

Media Release
For Immediate Release
June 9, 2014

 
Single-engine F-35 a bad choice for Canada’s Arctic, report finds

 
OTTAWA – A new report on the single-engine F-35 has just been released by the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

 
One Dead Pilot was written by University of British Columbia political science professor Michael Byers, who recently won the $50,000 Donner Prize for his book International Law and the Arctic.

 
The report responds to the Harper government’s continued openness to the F-35 as a replacement for Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18 fighter jets. With the exception of the F-35, all the aircraft currently under consideration have two engines.

As Professor Byers explains, this difference has significant safety implications, particularly for pilots operating over Canada’s Arctic and vast maritime zones: “A decision to purchase a single-engine fighter would almost inevitably result in the needless loss of Canadian pilots.”

Thirty-five years ago, the CF-18’s twin engines were a decisive factor in its selection over the single-engine F-16.

 

Today, the Harper government maintains that improvements in the reliability of engines mean that single-engine aircraft are just as safe as twin-engine aircraft.

 
Professor Byers’ report includes recent statistics from the U.S. Air Force Safety Center that disprove this assertion. The number of accidents leading to the loss of a pilot and/or aircraft remains significantly higher for single-engine fighter jets than for twin-engine fighter jets.

According to the report, the risks associated with a single-engine aircraft are compounded by Canada’s challenging geography – including the remote Arctic and the world’s longest coastline – as well as a near-broken search-and-rescue system. As Professor Byers explains, “A pilot forced to eject after a loss of power in the Arctic might have just a few hours to live.”

 
 

-30-

One Dead Pilot is available on the Rideau Institute website 
 

For more information contact:

 
Professor Michael Byers, University of British Columbia
c. 1-250-526-3001 e. michael.byers@ubc.ca (Note: Professor Byers is in Ottawa June 9, 10 and 11)
Read More

Comments are closed.




Omar Khadr settlement a victory for the rule of law

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, we wish to apologize to Mr. Khadr.” – Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale “I hope Canadians take away two things today…. First, our rights are not subject to the whims of the government of the day. And second, there are serious costs when the government violates the rights of […]

Read More
View the Blog »

RI President to speak at Group of 78 conference: Getting to Nuclear Zero

On Saturday, September 23rd Ambassador (ret’d) Peggy Mason, President of the Rideau Institute, will speak on Panel 4 of the Group ...

New UN treaty outlaws nuclear weapons

Friday, 7 July at the UN Headquarters in New York more than 120 countries adopted a landmark treaty to ban nuclear ...