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Russian Helicopter (?) Crash Kills 16

From an un-inquisitive Associated Press:

Helicopter crash at Afghan base kills 16

By Jason Straziuso, Associated Press Writer

KABUL – A Russian-owned civilian helicopter crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff at southern Afghanistan’s largest NATO base Sunday, killing 16 civilians in the latest in a string of deadly aircraft crashes in the country…

There were no indications that the crash of the Mi-8 helicopter at southern Kandahar Air Field was caused by hostile fire, military officials said. Sixteen people died in the crash, and five were wounded and were treated on the NATO base, said Capt. Glen Parent, a spokesman for the NATO-led force in Kandahar.

No military personnel were wounded or killed, NATO said. Parent said the helicopter burst into flames when it crashed near the runway only moments after takeoff.

The Russian news agency Interfax said the Mi-8 was owned by the Russian air company Vertikal-T. It cited Russian charge d’affaires Andrei Vadov as saying there were no Russians among the 16 killed.

The Mi-8 helicopter can seat up to 24 people, Parent said. Civilian helicopters help ferry civilian contractors and supplies to small military outposts across Afghanistan

Apparently the Associated Press doesn’t believe its readers deserve any explanation as to why a Russian helicopter was ferrying non-Russian personnel at a NATO base in Afghanistan.

There aren’t enough American or NATO helicopters?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, July 19th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Russian Helicopter (?) Crash Kills 16”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    “There aren’t enough American and NATO helicopters?”

    I guess the Russians are trying out Capitalism. I mean, their slicks are just sitting in mother Russia not making anything but rust. Why not grab (lick up) some of that nasty stimulus money floating about.

  2. canary says:

    Russian plane taking off from Iran last week killed all 168 on board. Witnesses all saw tail on fire in sky before nose-diving.

    (scroll way down)

  3. DW says:

    Last year, the Canadian Armed Forces leased 8 Mi-6 helicopters from a civilian firm based in Toronto. They (and their civilian -yikes!- pilots) were leased specifically for service in Afghanistan (to make up for a lack of Canadian military helicopters -which were all sold off by a previous (cough*Liberal*cough) government.

    I do not believe this was one of the Canadian-leased ships (we now have CH-47s and Bell 412s in theatre).

    The Poles also operate Mi-8’s and in reference to the question about if there are enough US and NATO helicopters: the Brits have also been suffering from a lack of helicopter assets.

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    Peculiar .. especially in light of all the: “Moscow racked up an extraordinary array of superlatives.” talked about in the just preceeding article.

    God bless and keep every one of the victims, tho’.

  5. artboyusa says:

    “There aren’t enough American or NATO helicopters?” The answer is no, unfortunately. UK troops in Afghanistan have limited helicopter capability and must travel by road when they could be travelling by air, thus increasing their exposure to IEDs. In 2004 the now Prime Minister Gordon Brown, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, cut £1.5 billion from the Army’s chopper budget and the results are now coming home in flag draped coffins. The British army has been reduced to hiring ex-Soviet choppers flown by Russsian contractors to move people and things around and those birds ain’t always the safest…as this story shows.

    The chopper shortage is a major scandal over here and has had extensive coverage. Here’s some details:Helicopter shortage seriously undermines UK operations in Afghanistan, report says Cross-party Commons defence committee warns that government’s procurement policy could make situation worse…http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jul/16/afghanistan-helicopter-shortage-commons-defence-committee

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