All Army Chinook helicopters grounded over fire risk
The U.S. Army has grounded its fleet of Chinook helicopters, citing fuel leaks that caused “a small number” of engine fires among the aircrafts.
The Army has identified the cause of the fuel leaks and is working to take “corrective measures” to address the issue, Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith in a statement.
“While no deaths or injuries occurred, the Army temporarily grounded the H-47 fleet out of an abundance of caution,” Smith said.
There are approximately 400 helicopters in the fleet, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the grounding.
The fuel leaks and fires affected an “isolated number” of the aircrafts, but the helicopters are grounded until corrective steps are complete, Smith said.
Some of the machines, though, may not need the correction and may soon resume normal flight operations.
“The safety of our Soldiers is the Army’s top priority, and we will ensure our aircraft remain safe and airworthy,” Smith said.
The heavy-lift utility helicopters have been an Army staple for decades. The CH-47F, one of the Chinook’s latest iterations, is “the Army’s only heavy-lift cargo helicopter supporting combat and other critical operations,” per the Army’s site.