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The US Army’s fleet of 400 CH-47 Chinook helicopters has been grounded. Army officials say the decision came after reports of multiple engine fires throughout the fleet, with the latest fire taking place just days ago. No injuries have occurred as a result of the fires.
The CH-47s were grounded “out of an abundance of caution” according to the US Army Materiel Command. They also say they have identified a specific part that is causing the fires. A spokeswoman for the Army said the defective part was causing fuel leaks that started fires in “an isolated number” of aircraft.
The grounded CH-47s are made by Boeing and the engines are manufactured by Honeywell International Inc.
There has not been any word on when the Chinooks, one of the Army’s primary heavy lift aircraft, will be approved to fly again.
The US Air Force has also recently grounded several of its aircraft. The F-35 Lightning II, made by Lockheed Martin, was just authorized to fly again after a problem with the ejection seat was fixed. The Air Force has also grounded their fleet of 52 CV-22 Ospreys because of mechanical problems. The Marine Corps is continuing to allow their Ospreys to fly.
Three US military aircraft crashed in the span of just one week in Southern California over the summer.