Investigators probe military helicopter crash in Moscow
MOSCOW, October 30 (RAPSI) – The investigators are going to evaluate whether a technical malfunction or a pilot’s error cause the crash of a military helicopter in southeast Moscow on Tuesday, says Tatyana Morozova, a spokeswoman for Moscow’s Inter-Regional Transport Investigations Directorate.
The investigators are now working with the technical documents and the chopper’s black box.
The damages to the Defense Ministry which owns the helicopter are estimated at 800 million rubles ($25 mln).
A law enforcement official told RIA Novosti the ejection seats on the twin-seat Kamov KA-52 Alligator attack helicopter activated inadvertently, sending it crashing to the ground near the Vykhino-Zhulebino district in southeast Moscow.
This is the second time in two years that a KA-52 helicopter has crashed.
Two pilots died in March 2012 after their KA-52 helicopter crashed during a training flight near the Torzhok military helicopter testing and training center in the Tver Region.
There have been previous accidents involving the single-seat Ka-50, from which the Ka-52 is derived.
A Ka-50 crashed in June 1998 during an air display, killing the base commander at Torzhok. An official accident report said the helicopter's co-axial rotor blades had collided during hard maneuvering.
The Ka-50 and Ka-52 are unique among helicopters in having ejection seats. The seats operate after explosives in the rotor head blow off the rotor blades to allow the crew to be ejected safely.