Army helicopter makes ‘hard landing’ during drill; pilots safe

Taipei,  An Army helicopter sustained minor damage during a “hard landing” at a military base in Taiwan on Wednesday, but the two pilots were uninjured, according to Taiwan’s Army Aviation and Special Forces Command (AASFC).

“The 0H-58D helicopter, with tail number 634, hard-landed during a flight training test,” the AASFC said in press statement. “Fortunately, all personnel are safe.”

The Army is evaluating the damage, and a special taskforce will be assigned to investigate the incident, the AASFC said.

All Army flight training will be suspended until the cause of the accident has been determined, the AASFC said

An Army officer, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, told CNA that the incident occurred at 3:20 p.m. at the AASFC’s Guiren base in Tainan. A flight student and his instructor were performing an emergency landing drill that simulated a situation in which the helicopter lost power, the officer said.

The two people on board the helicopter were taken to hospital but were found to have no serious injuries, he said

Meanwhile, the helicopter’s tail, main rotor and landing skids were damaged, the officer said.

In March 2018, a similar incident occurred when a flight student miscalculated the helicopter’s altitude during a landing simulation drill.

The student and the instructor both received administrative penalties and were prohibited from flying for two weeks and three months, respectively.

Taiwan’s 39 OH-58D helicopters, manufactured by American aerospace firm Bell Helicopter, are used primarily for reconnaissance in support of ground troops, as they have multi-sensor sighting systems and low-altitude flight capabilities.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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