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Why does a little bolt mean many Army helicopters are grounded?

While flying in general is much safer than driving a car in California, there is still the issue that crashes of aircraft are usually much more severe than car crashes. A minor fender bender is common with vehicles, but there is no such thing with an air craft. If something goes wrong on the road, you can pull over. If something goes wrong in the air, you may not get the chance to get back to the ground. This is why aircraft maintenance is taken so seriously. That is even more true when it comes to the military and helicopters. A recent bolt issue with Boeing's AH-64 Apache helicopter has led to a critical safety issue, according to Business Insider.

The bolt in question is quite small actually. It attaches the rotor blades and is called the main rotor retaining nut. If this nut comes loose or otherwise fails, the rotors break off, and the helicopter will crash. Initially, it may spin out of control. The pilot will have no control or ability to regain the flight path. Obviously, this is a serious problem and something the Army cannot overlook.

Boeing has worked on a redesign, but the Army felt it still was suspect. This led to them grounding all Apache helicopters in favor of keeping pilots safe. However, this has led to many pilots being grounded. It reduces training availability and also available helicopters to fly missions. Unfortunately, the Army cannot risk this because Boeing has had similar issues in the past. This information is for education. It is not legal advice.

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