Russian air force helicopter crashes, killing one pilot
A Russian air force helicopter crashed during an air show on Sunday (Aug 2) in front of thousands of spectators, the latest in a string of military crashes.
One pilot died but the other managed to walk out of the wreck alive.
The Mi-28N attack helicopter was participating in the show as part of a competition organised by the Russian defence ministry, Russian media reported from the event.
In a video which was posted online, one pilot was seen stumbling out from the fiery wreckage of the helicopter as rescue vehicles rushed to his aid.
Television footage showed rescue workers attending to the smouldering helicopter lying on its side in the airfield after it crashed and burst into flames.
“One pilot has died, the condition of the other is satisfactory,” the ministry said in a statement published by Russian news agencies.
The Russian air force proceeded to ground all Mi-28 flights after it was revealed that the crash could have been caused by equipment failure.
The air show, Aviadarts, where airforce plane and helicopter crews compete to carry out timed tasks, was suspended for the day.
The defence ministry said the accident was apparently caused by a hydraulic system failure, which was reported by the surviving pilot who ejected from the chopper.
The Soviet-designed Mi-28 has been used by the Russian air force since the mid-2000s and is also exported to a number of countries including Iraq.
AFP reported that there have been at least six incidents over the past few weeks involving Russian military planes and helicopters.
Source: AFP, YouTube