Losses and Aviation Safety

Life raft falls from RCAF CH-146 helicopter and crashes through Miami home injuring woman

The CH-146 raft is back in the RCAF possession as the investigation continues. A spokesperson said they will help the residents with accommodations and other support

As you can see in the following video an inflatable life raft fell out of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-146 Griffon helicopter and crashed through the roof of a house in Miami last week.

The helicopter was flying to Miami-Opa locka Executive airport, after completing search-and-rescue (SAR) training in south Florida, when the life raft became detached.

A woman was in the house at that time and was not seriously injured.

According CBS, witnesses say the woman was lying in bed when she heard the helicopter circling her house.

“She was laying in bed and she could hear the helicopter going by in circles, then all of a sudden [she heard] a big explosion. She looked and [there was a] big yellow bag on top of the bag and, crash, it blew up just like an explosion. Then she come out screaming,” according to one witness. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

At first, they thought a bomb had exploded.

“I heard the lady screaming, ‘Somebody killed me! What happened!’ And I saw her shaking,” said homeowner Jean Pierre Joseph. “I see a big hole and then the bag fell down and there’s a yellow rope as well.”

CH-146 Griffon

The raft is back in the air force’s possession as the investigation continues. A spokesperson said they will help the residents with accommodations and other support.

The CH-146 Griffon is a Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter (UTTH) whose primary role is tactical transportation of troops and material. The CH-146 is also used in SAR missions. The Griffon can be equipped with a hoist that enables it to extract people and a cargo hook that lets them transport cargo from almost any terrain.

The helicopter can carry up to 13 people (two pilots, a flight engineer and 10 passengers) and has a maximum gross weight of nearly 5,400 kilograms. The Griffon can reach speeds up to 260 kilometres per hour.

Photo credit: Screenshot from the video and Royal Canadia Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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