The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) resumed flight operations of its Kawasaki OH-1 observation helicopter on 1 March after more than a three-year hiatus, a JGSDF spokesperson told Jane’s on 8 March.
The source explained that flights of all 37 OH-1 platforms had been suspended after an OH-1 helicopter belonging to the JGSDF’s Eastern Army Aviation Group in Tokyo was forced to land on 4 December 2015 due to engine trouble.
The JGSDF found out that the performance of one of the helicopter’s two engines had been reduced after high-pressure turbine blades inside the engine were damaged due to excessive stress, said the spokesperson.
As a result, the JGSDF started to change the shape of those blades one by one to ensure that there were no operational problems, he added.
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