400 & 411 both flew the Kiowa from 1980-1996
411 Squadron was disbanded in 1991
The Kiowa, initially known as COH-58A, were delivered between 1971 and 1972 as a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH), performing duties such as reconnaissance, command and liaison or artillery fire direction. Although similar in appearance to the trainer CH-139 Jet Ranger major differences between them included the main rotor blades and dynamic components.
They were replaced by the CH-146 Griffon in 1996
The Story of Kiowa Serial # 136228 - Friday, March 29, 2019
Several years ago someone identified that this Kiowa was now serving as a Gate Guard outside CFB Borden.
Carl Mills (may he RIP) started planning and gathering the information required to restore it (weatherproofing, and re-painting it) in 400's 60th Anniversary Colours. Carl had progressed to the point where he had several individuals willing to take on the management of this project so that once the funding was raised we would be in a position to commence its restoration. However, about 3 weeks before his death he advised me that he was just that day advised that the Gate Guard we thought was Serial # 136228 was in actual fact Serial # 136882.
I immediately started to search the various data bases of aircraft serial numbers to which we have access. After about a week I determined our Kiowa had been sold to a company in Australia in 2006 and registered as civilian helicopter VH-OSX in Australia to a private owner whom I managed to identify as Mr. David Sproule. I have been unsuccessful in obtaining a phone or email for Mr. Sproule but had left a trail of emails while trying to obtain contact information for him.
Contact made on Thursday, March 28, 2019
I received the following email yesterday:
Here are a few photos of OSX. I’ve just purchased this Kiowa to complete my training and will be used for movement between farms and some recreational flying. I purchased it from David Sproule who has owned it from 2006
Would love to see any other previous photos or anything you have regarding it’s past.
Kiowa Serial # 136228 Now Civilian VH-OSX Registered in Australia
Following is a short video of Rod taking off in VH-OSX. More in flight video may be forthcoming and will be added.
This is a 403 Squadron Gagetown helicopter and it looks like the Gagetown range. This picture was taken before the RAR and IR Suppression was added and before the HCCR mod. All the CH-136's had the C-18 Engine and the CH-139's had the C-20. After the wire strike mod added; the lower cutter was removed on this one because it was used for autorotation training when not carrying the minitat. So this picture was taken before the modified lower wire strike was designed with the break away tip. Given that I would guess that this picture was from around 1981. Oh, and you don't replace a Kiowa with a Slug... you change the role and assign a new machine to do the new role. Kiowa roles: Forward Air Control, Arty Authorized OP, Recce, Pink Team Lead, Radio Rebroadcast, Aerial Photo, Target Marking, Radio Location capability, Command and Liaison.... Fire Suppression with minitat (lots of bullets - little accuracy) - Old Kiowa Pilot.