The military has returned its Apache and Black Hawk helicopters to service after ordering them grounded due to safety concerns.
The grounding order last week came after an Apache helicopter crashed in Japan and a Black Hawk helicopter went missing off eastern Taiwan. The military says it has performed safety inspections and maintenance work on both types of helicopters. It has also retrained service members that operate the two types of helicopters.
Meanwhile, the military says it will cooperate in the continuing search for the missing Black Hawk helicopter. The helicopter belonged to the National Airborne Service Corps and went missing on February 5th near Orchid Island. At the time of its disappearance, the helicopter was on a mission to transport a medical patient from the island.
The helicopter’s black box has been located at a point 850 meters below the sea. However, rough conditions and the steep angle of the seabed have made a recovery mission impossible so far. The black box only has enough power to continue transmitting a signal for thirty days.
Experts say that Wednesday and Sunday are likely to be the only days with suitable weather before the box’s power runs out. However, they also warn that the wreckage of the helicopter may be spread out, and that the black box’s signal might not lead to the helicopter itself.