The U.S. military grounded its entire fleet of Chinook helicopters on Tuesday “out of an abundance of caution” after fuel leaks caused a “small number of engine fires” among several aircraft, the spokeswoman said. the army, Cynthia Smith.
Driving the news: The helicopters, which are used primarily to transport troops, artillery, equipment and fuel, will temporarily remain on the ground while the military works to resolve the issue, according to Smith. No deaths or injuries were reported.
- “The Army has identified the root cause of the fuel leaks that caused a small number of engine fires among an isolated number of H-47 helicopters and is implementing corrective actions to address this issue,” Smith said. in a press release.
- “Based on the results of our investigation, some aircraft may not require corrective action and may soon resume normal flight operations,” Smith added. We don’t know how long it will take.
- “The safety of our soldiers is the Army’s top priority, and we will ensure that our aircraft remain safe and airworthy.”
- The Wall Street Journal was first to report the news.
The big picture: The military operates about 400 Chinook helicopters, according to Reuters. They are often used in humanitarian disaster relief operations and serve the armed forces of 19 countries around the world, according to aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
- A Boeing spokesperson declined to comment and referred Axios to the military.