05 JULY, 2017 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: ARIE EGOZI TEL AVIV
The Israeli air force is to slash the interval for replacing tail rotor blades on its Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, after a 7.8in (20cm)-long crack was found during a routine inspection last month.
Air force commander Maj Gen Amir Eshel ordered a temporary grounding of the Apache fleet while an investigation was conducted in co-operation with the US Army and Boeing. The process also included X-ray inspections intended to detect even the smallest crack. Individual aircraft were returned to flight status following these checks.
As a result of the inspections, the air force has decided to replace tail rotors after 995 flight hours, rather than a previous interval of every 4,600h.
The step comes as the service on 5 July lifted a two-day suspension of all training flights, also ordered by Eshel. This was imposed after an accumulation of safety incidents in recent weeks, with the pause used to refresh safety procedures.
Ah-64 Apache: Details *(Note not yet revised)