WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Navy and Marine Corps grounded their fleet of 291 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters after an inspection of one in North Carolina revealed a crack in part of the rotor assembly.
A Navy spokeswoman, Lt. Cmdr. Dawn Cutler, said Wednesday the grounding order was issued late Monday. She said none would fly again until they had undergone inspection, which normally takes about three hours per aircraft. Those deployed aboard ships will take a bit longer to check, she said.
A recent inspection of a CH-46 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., revealed a crack in the bellcrank, which is part of the rotor assembly. In line with standard practice, that led to a decision to keep all the troop-ferrying aircraft out of the air until they have been inspected.
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