The Australian Army has grounded its fleet of five CH-47D Chinook heavy lift helicopters after a possible safety issue with the aircraft’s advanced flight control system (AFCS) was discovered.
The ADF says the grounding was to ensure safety and was consistent with Army Operational Airworthiness procedures. “The precautionary suspension will remain in place pending technical analysis of flight data by Defence and Boeing,” Director General Aviation, Brigadier Neil Turton said in a statement. “The grounding of the aircraft is not expected to have an impact on the conduct of operations. Military operations staff will offset the loss of capability and re-adjust schedules and support arrangements to ensure that rotary wing assets are prioritised in accordance with mission requirements.”
Army currently has two Chinooks deployed to Kandahar in Afghanistan which are embedded into the US 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. One Chinook is currently in Papua New Guinea and two others are in or near Townsville.
An Australian CH-47D was destroyed following an accident in Afghanistan earlier this year with the death of one passenger.