Monday, April 1, 2013

► SOUTH AFRICA: SAAF Agusta A109LUH crashes near Kruger; 5 dead.

South African Air ForceThe South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has confirmed the death of five people who died on the evening of Saturday 30 March, when their South African Air Force Agusta A109 Light Utility Helicopter crashed around 19h00L just north of Satara, Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga.

SAAF Agusta A109
SAAF Agusta A109 LUH
According to Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga of the SANDF, the chopper was out on a routine anti-poaching aerial patrol of the Kruger National Park as part of Operation RHINO, the anti-rhino poaching operation, when it came down in unclear circumstances.

An investigation has been launched.

In January 2012, a report by the SAAF found that three previous A109 Light Utility Helicopter crashes had been caused by mechanical failure and pilot error, but that "all technical problems had since been resolved".