- Military aircraft crash kills 1 in central Vietnam
- Helicopter crashes in southern Vietnam during training session
A helicopter that crashed in southern Vietnam during a training session on Tuesday has been found, together with the bodies of all the three pilots.
Local military officers confirmed at around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday that they had found the aircraft, badly damaged, in a valley by Bao Quan Mountain in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province.
The valley is more than 500 meters above sea level, and around 90 kilometers to the southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. It is right next to Dinh Mountain, which was originally believed to be the crash site.
The two pilot trainees, Sub-lieutenants Dang Dinh Duy and Nguyen Van Tung, and their teacher, Captain Duong Le Minh, did not survive the crash.
“Their bodies were intact. The aircraft was badly broken,” an officer said.
They were flying an EC130 of Vietnam Helicopter Corporation on a training session when the helicopter crashed at around 8:30 a.m., less than half an hour after takeoff.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau authorities and the Ministry of National Defense sent more than 400 people and three helicopters to look for them. The search and rescue mission was hindered by the local mountainous terrain and heavy rains on Tuesday night.
The Eurocopter EC130 is a single engine light helicopter originally launched and produced by the Eurocopter Group, now Airbus Helicopters.
The model has various safety features, including flight data recorders and crash-worthy seats.
The safety record of Vietnam’s civilian aviation sector is generally good, but over the past years there have been several incidents involving military aircraft.
In late August, a Czechoslovakia-era jet training aircraft crashed into a paddy field on the fringes of the central province of Phu Yen, killing one pilot and critically injuring one passer-by on the ground.
Last June, Vietnam’s Air Defense suffered a double loss in one week. On June 14, a Su-30MK2 Vietnamese fighter crashed off the central province of Nghe An. Only one of the two pilots made it out alive. Two days later, a CASA-212-40 with nine people on board went missing while searching for the Su-30MK2.
In January 2015, four people were killed when a Vietnamese military helicopter, a UH-1 and known as a Huey, crashed minutes after it set off from Ho Chi Minh City, an army official told AFP.
In July 2014, 19 people died and two others were injured when a Russian-made Mi-171 chopper crashed in Hanoi during a training exercise.
In 2008, five Vietnamese air force officers were killed when their twin-engine light transport aircraft crashed on the outskirts of Hanoi, according to AFP.
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