This research was devoted to the development of a structural health monitoring (SHM) system for helicopter structures using the acoustic emission (AE) method. Experiments were carried out on a test bench to test helicopter fuselage and tail boom joints under dynamic loads. During the experiments, several bolted joints fractured. The process of crack development in the bolt material was controlled by the AE method. The results presented in the paper link AE parameters to the process of crack development. Fractographic analysis was used to validate the experimental results. The dependence of fatigue crack growth in a bolt material taking into account bolt retightening in the joint between the tail boom and fuselage was revealed.