Australia grounds $1.5b Tiger, manufacturer deems helicopter ‘unsafe’

Image: Airbus Helicopters

An investigation into a fatal crash in Africa has led to the grounding of Australia’s $1.5 billion Tiger reconnaisance helicopter except for emergency purposes, it has been reported by the Australian.

Manufacturer Airbus Helicopters (AH) has announced that “despite the missing ­information and considering a sudden failure, Airbus Helicopters (AH) declares (an) unsafe condition for all Tiger versions”.

“AH can neither identity the part, the failure of which would lead to the accident, nor the origin of the failure (design, manufacturing, maintenance). Consequently AH is not in a position to propose a protective measure,” a AH spokesperson said.

A German variant crashed in ­Africa last month – killing two crew members – and it is thought that rotor blades falling mid-flight were a possible cause of the crash in Mali.

According to News Corp, the department of defence has confirmed it had “temporarily restricted the operations” of its Tiger fleet.

“Defence is consulting with Airbus Group Asia Pacific to ­review recent advice,” a spokesperson told the Australian. “No new information has been received from the accident investigation. Defence continues to monitor the situation closely.”

Investigations into the crash of a German helicopter during a peacekeeping operation in Mali are ongoing.