BERLIN --- The Bundeswehr has again had technical problems with its NH90 helicopters. The multi-purpose helicopters, which are also deployed in Mali, are currently being checked for safety reasons, a Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed on Saturday. In some cases, the review was completed, and these helicopters are returning to flight.
After the deadly crash of a Tiger combat helicopter in Mali, the Bundeswehr ordered additional safety inspections, Der Spiegel reported Oct 14. Therefore, before and after each flight, the maintenance flaps on the engines of the Tiger helicopters must be checked. Parts of the Tiger’s engine coverings were found several kilometers from the crash site, and it is thought they may have loosened and damaged the rotor.
The defense ministry spokesman merely said that the investigations into the cause of the catastrophe continue. After the July 26 crash in which two crewmen were killed, the helicopters were grounded for weeks.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The German MoD is worried because abrasion traces were found in the turbine engines of one of the NH90s operating in Mali in support of the United Nations’ MINUSMA mission.
The grounding order will remain in force until all 47 NH90s in German service have been checked.)