Wednesday, March 13, 2013

► ZAMBIA: Air Force Harbin Z9 chopper crashes on landing at Lusaka City Airport; 1 dead.

Zambian Air ForceZambia's Defense Ministry has confirmed the crash of a Zambian Air Force Harbin Z-9 helicopter at Lusaka's City Airport (not to be confused with Lusaka's Kenneth Kaunda International Airport) following yesterday's Youth Day celebrations. The pilot of the chopper was killed with his co-pilot sustaining minor injuries, though the exact circumstances of the crash are still unclear.

A Malian Harbin Z-9
A Malian Harbin Z-9 (DoD)
Minister of Defense, Geoffrey Mwamba, confirmed that the helicopter had been preparing to land at its base at City Airport at 11h14L, when the crash occurred:
We experienced an accident this morning around 11:14 hours where a Zambia Air Force, Z9 helicopter crushed on landing at the City Airport. The plane lost control causing it to crash-land and investigations into the cause of the accident have been instituted,” he said.
Source [Mwebantu]

Mr Mwamba said Major Misapa Mukupa was pronounced dead on arrival at Lusaka's University Teaching Hospital (UTH). Co-pilot Captain Kenneth Chilala sustained only minor injuries and had already been discharged.

The helicopter had been returning from a formation flight with two others when, uncorroborated reports claim, a Zambian flag the chopper had been dragging (i.e had had suspended from its underbelly), became entangled in the rear rotor, causing the pilot to lose control. It is further claimed the pilot attempted to jump out of the helicopter, only to be hit by flying debris.

Zambia operates four Harbin Z-9s, which are in fact, French Eurocopter AS365 Dauphins built under license.