In what may come as an embarrassment to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the DGCA has issued a directive asking pilots riding one of its helicopters to land them as soon as possible and shut off the engine if noise or jerks persist, reports Bengaluru Mirror.
The HAL made Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), off late, has come across multiple incidents of noise and jerks in its engine. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) after taking stock of the developments, has issued airworthiness directives in the wake of technical snags recurring in the TM-333-2B2 engines that are installed in the civil variants of the copters. The said engine is manufactured by a French company, Turbomeca.
Even in 2005 and 2011, the helicopter was called out by DGCA over some problems in the rotor blade and tail. Such developments have dented HAL’s plans for Dhruv which were aiming at a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), to boost export probabilities of Dhruv.
The ALH, which weighs around 5500 kg and is said to be the most successful product of HAL till date. The PSU has manufactured 250 units of this ALH, with 228 units of them in operation, out of which 216 are with the Indian Armed Forces. Dhruvs are also exported to Nepal, Maldives, Ecuador and Israel.
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