France and Germany have returned their Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters to the air following a two-month grounding in the wake of a mystery engine incident involving a French aircraft.
The operational fleet of 24 Tigers was grounded in late November after "an incident occurred on 29 November with one of the French Tigers in Cannet-des-Maures in the south-east of France, when the pilot encountered a problem regulating turbine power when landing", says the manufacturer.
"This was not a problem with the production of the aircraft, but while it was in operation. There is no implication for the programme, but the decision to ground the fleet was taken by Eurocopter more as a precautionary measure."
Eurocopter, however, could not identify the cause of the problem even after an extensive investigation that spanned two months.
Eurocopter could not identify the problem despite recreating the incident
"We tried to recreate all the conditions of the incident, which involved simulations and in-depth discussions with the pilot. Each time we attempted to recreate the incident, the aircraft performed really well. We concluded that it was not the aircraft itself that caused the problem," says Eurocopter.
Flights restarted in January in Germany and February in France.