Home Americas US Army grounds Chinook fleet over engine fire fears

US Army grounds Chinook fleet over engine fire fears

Chinook grounding
US Army file photo

The US Army has grounded its entire fleet of CH-47 Chinook helicopters following a number of engine fires in recent days.

The US Army Materiel Command grounded the helicopters “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Out of an estimated 400 Chinooks in the fleet, some 70 aircraft are believed to have been fitted with defective O-rings during maintenance, and the service is inspecting these airframes.

More specifically, the grounding affected models with engines manufactured by Honeywell, WSJ reported citing sources.

In a statement to Fox News, Honeywell said it worked with the army to discover that O-rings not meeting Honeywell design specifications had been installed in some T55 engines during routine and scheduled maintenance at an Army Depot.

“Joint US Army and Honeywell engineers identified the issue, and are now working with the Army to provide replacement O-rings on all affected Chinooks,” the company said.

The Chinook has been an army workhorse ever since it entered service in the 1960s. It is unclear how long the grounding will last and what effect it would have on operations.