Apache Combat Helicopters Flight Program Will Resume
(Source: Dutch Ministry of Defence; issued August 12, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
The first Dutch Apache attack helicopter flew again on August 12, after a two-month grounding during which its tail rotor blades were replaced. The rest of the fleet will be modified and returned to flight status over the coming months. (Dutch MoD photo)
The first [Dutch] Apache has flown again today. The combat helicopters have been grounded since June due to an observed deviation on the surface of a tail rotor blade.

The deviation could possibly affect the airworthiness of the aircraft, which prompted the air force to keep the aircraft on the ground as a precaution and to replace the tail rotor blades. This has since happened with the first Apache and that is why the aircraft was able to make the first test flights today.

The main rotor blades have also been subjected to an inspection, but they do not need to be replaced. The cause of the deviation in the tail rotor blades is still being investigated by the Air Force in collaboration with the Netherlands Air and Space Center (NLR) and manufacturer Boeing.

The following two aircraft are expected to be commissioned next week. The rest of the fleet will be tackled in the coming period and the resumption of the full flight program is expected within a few months.

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