U.S. Army grounds Boeing-made Chinook helicopters fleet


(Reuters) – The U.S. Army has temporarily grounded its fleet of about 400 Chinook helicopters due to a risk of engine fires, a spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday.

Planemaker Boeing Co makes the heavy-lift Chinook helicopters that supports disaster relief operations and medical evacuation. It is used by international defense forces including those of Italy, South Korea and Canada.

“The Army has identified the root cause of fuel leaks that caused a small number of engine fires among an isolated number of H-47 helicopters, and is implementing corrective measures to resolve this issue,” U.S. Army spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith said.

While no deaths or injuries occurred, the grounding was carried “out of an abundance of caution” until those corrective actions are complete, Smith added.

The grounding, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, was targeted at certain models with engines manufactured by Honeywell International Inc, according to the report.

Boeing declined to comment and referred questions to the Army. Honeywell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)