The Australian Army lifted the grounding of its Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) fleet more than two months ago according to a statement given to Contact Air Land & Sea magazine.
The fleet had been grounded since August 11 following the fatal crash of a German Tiger in Africa. Despite Defence sources pointing towards pilot error as a cause for the crash, the release of the preliminary report was reportedly delayed due to Germany’s federal elections and subsequent delays in forming a coalition government at that time.
“Unrestricted Tiger flying operations recommenced on 10 November 2017 after detailed consideration of the factors that caused the suspension. Prior to resuming flying operations, the Army and Airbus developed a rigorous program of work, involving inspections, checks and test flying, to support a full resumption to normal flight operations,” Defence advised Contact in a statement on January 31.
“During the cessation of Tiger flying operations, flying skills were maintained using the Tiger flight simulators. The 1st Aviation Regiment met its readiness requirements prior to the Christmas stand-down period.”
In late October, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell told the Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee that the Army’s fleet of 22 Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters would resume flying within coming weeks.
“We’re liaising very closely with other Tiger user partners as well as the manufacturer on the issue,” LTGEN Campbell said at the time.
“There are a couple of issues still at play, and the investigation remains open, but we think we’re coming to the end of the pause.”