The ADF’s current fleet of MRH 90 helicopters remains grounded nearly three months after an aircraft experienced a catastrophic engine failure near RAAF Edinburgh on April 20.
“MRH 90 flying operations are suspended whilst the investigation into the cause of the engine failure continues,” a Defence spokesperson told Australian Aviation on July 8. “An Aircraft Incident Investigation Team has been investigating the incident with support provided by the DSTO, the engine manufacturer (Rolls-Royce Turbomeca) and the aircraft manufacturers (NHI and Australian Aerospace). This is a complex investigation, and the precise cause of the failure has not yet been identified. Detailed investigation and analysis are continuing.”
The engine failure occurred during a deployment to Edinburgh of several aircraft and crews as part of the training and aircraft service development process.
RTM322 engines also power European NH90s, as well as AW101s (EH 101) operated by several nations and WAH-64 Apaches as used by the British Army, but none of these aircraft have been grounded.