SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- The Army has allowed several Surion helicopters to resume maintenance and training flights after grounding all aircraft of the same model following the crash of a Marine Corps chopper in July, officials said Sunday.
A total of 93 Surion helicopters were grounded following the July 17 crash of the MUH-1 Marineon, the Marine variant of the KUH-1 Surion helicopter. Five people were killed in the crash and an investigation has determined that a fracture of the helicopter's rotor mast was the main cause.
"After an x-ray inspection of the problematic parts and other detailed checks, we have allowed aircraft that have no problem to resume maintenance and training flights," an Army official said. "So far, four Surions have resumed maintenance and training flights since Oct. 11."
The official said that the Army will determine whether to allow a full resumption of flights after inspecting all rotor masts of the Surion helicopters. Inspection is expected to last until March next year, the official said.
The decision to allow a partial resumption of flights was made as the prolonged suspension of the Surion helicopters is causing fatigue for UH-60 helicopters, which have been used in place of Surions since the grounding, officials said.
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