India is seeking certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Dhruv advanced light helicopters, following Ecuador’s move to return them due to frequent crashes.
Four of seven Dhruv helicopters supplied to Ecuador have crashed during the period October 2009 to January 2015.
The Ecuadorian Government has constituted Court of Inquiry (CoI) in each case which concluded that human errors caused the first two accidents but Ecuador government did not release Two other CoI reports, citing confidentiality, Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement Tuesday.
However, the aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) analyzed the flight data recorders (FDR) records and discovered that the third accident was due to 'pilot associated oscillation (human error)' and the cause of the fourth accident was 'failure of tail drive shaft attributed to maintenance lapse by Ecuadorian team'.
The EASA certification will help HAL increase the export potential in global market. HAL also plans to propose long-term onsite maintenance support for three to five years in future contracts. In June 2008, HAL received the first export order for Dhruv helicopters for the air force of Ecuador.
Dhruv is equipped with advanced technologies such as anti-resonance vibration isolation system (ARI), full authority digital electronic control (FADEC), hingeless main rotor, bearingless tail rotor, and an automatic flight control system.
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The Indian Army is preparing to deploy a squadron of Dhruv advanced light helicopters equipped with weapons in the northeast border that it shares with China. There are four weapon stations on the helicopter with a turret gun in its nose area
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