Coast Guard raised safety issues about CN-235
Top Coast Guard officials raised safety concerns about the CN-235 two years ago, and angered Senator Shelby when they used federal funds to upgrade existing helicopters instead of buying the EADS CASA plane.
Rear Admiral David Belz, Assistant Commandant of the Coast Guard for Operations (pictured), said that Commandant Thomas H. Collins had personally approved the funding priority, according to Sea Power.
In an apparent reference to the CN-235, Belz cited "operational limitations on the aircraft" and news about "engine-related mishaps" as motivators of the Coast Guard's decision not to buy the plane for FY2005. As CasaCrash.com reported in December 2003, the French military had just lost a similar plane, at the cost of the lives of seven servicemen.
Sea Power identified another safety problem with the CN-235 procurement: "Another issue likely to draw congressional fire is the Coast Guard's lack of programmed funding for a training and simulation facility to support new aircraft entering into service, according to industry sources familiar with the plan. So when the Coast Guard takes delivery of the first aircraft in 2006, it is unclear whether there will be a full-motion simulator in place to train pilots to fly them, industry sources said."