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August 5, 2010
MRH90 helicopters recommenced fly-
ing operations in late July following an
incident in April.
An MRH90 suffered engine failure
in one of its two main engines north of
Adelaide, resulting in the fleet being
grounded while an investigation was
The Defence Materiel Organisation's
RADM Mark Campbell said media
reports alleging pilot error as a factor in
the engine failure were incorrect.
"Following extensive work by Rolls
Royce Turbomeca and our industry part-
ners, we were advised the failure resulted
from compressor blade fracture due to
contact with the engine casing," RADM
"There is no suggestion of pilot error
as alleged in one UK report.
"An inspection regime and preventa-
tive measures were developed to lift the
current flying suspension."
Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling wrote
to Defence Materiel and Science Minister
Greg Combet to refute any suggestion that
engine damage was caused by improper
handling of the aircraft.
As a result of the incident and inves-
tigation, Navy's first flight at sea will be
delayed until 2011.
Of the 46 MRH90 helicopters ordered
for the Australian Navy and Army, 11 have
been accepted and are being used for train-
ing and testing, which will contribute to the
development of operational capability over
the next few years.
MRH90 given all clear -- not pilot error
FLYING AGAIN: An MRH90 lands on HMAS Manoora's flight deck during first-of-class trials.
Photo: LAC Christopher Dickson
By SGT Dave Morley
A NEW scheme to address
the long-term career needs of
Defence partners was launched
at the Royal Military College in
Canberra on July 14.
The Partner Education and
Employment Program (PEEP)
allows for recognised ADF part-
ners to receive an education and
employment allowance of up to
$12,000 over a 10-year period.
CEO Open Universities
Australia (OUA), Stuart
Hamilton, said the need for such
a program had been recognised
by the Defence Community
Organisation and, after offering
the university's programs to serv-
ing ADF members, it was good to
be able to support the families as
"Our partnership with Defence
in this program fits with our aim
to support large-scale employers
where their staff are spread over a
large area," Mr Hamilton said.
"After discussions with
Defence and supporting the edu-
cation needs of serving members,
supporting their families was the
next logical step."
The grant will offset the cost
of education and ease partners'
transition into the workforce, and
will go a long way toward assist-
ing Defence partners accessing
tertiary education anywhere in
PEEP is an extension of the
existing Services Workforce
Access Program for Partners
It allows ADF partners to self-
manage all the initiatives avail-
able under SWAPP SELECT but
removes most capped limits and
the requirement for training to be
completed within 12 months.
As an addition to PEEP,
Defence has negotiated a pilot
program with OUA that offers
value-added access to higher edu-
cation units and programs avail-
able through OUA studies.
Distance learning through
OUA will permit partners to con-
tinue their education even though
the family may be posted several
It will also provide an opportu-
nity for a partner to study during
postings to areas where it is dif-
ficult to find employment.
Study options open for families
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