Pilot confusion caused Dutch Apache crash
17 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The crash of a Dutch Apache helicopter in Afghanistan in August appears to have been caused by a miscommunication between the pilot and gunner, it was reported on Friday.
17 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — The crash of a Dutch Apache helicopter in Afghanistan in August appears to have been caused by a miscommunication between the pilot and gunner, it was reported on Friday.
Dutch air force sources claim both the pilot and the gunner — both of whom can pilot the combat helicopter — thought the other was piloting the aircraft. By the time they discovered the error, it was too late to prevent a crash landing.
The crash remains a sensitive issue among the Dutch air force and the two pilots have been urged against making public statements, newspaper De Volkskrant reported. It is not known if a technical glitch contributed to the misunderstanding.
The air force completed its investigation into the incident last month, but will neither confirm nor deny the cause of the crash. An independent military accident investigation commission is now considering whether to conduct its own inquiry.
The main task of the commission will be to determine what lessons can be gleaned from the incident. A decision as to whether the inquiry will proceed will be made in the next few weeks.
The Apache crashed and burst into flames on 29 August during a routine flight north of the Afghan capital, Kabul. One of the two crew members was injured and they were evacuated by a US transport helicopter based at Bagram.
It was the first crash of a Dutch combat helicopter since the modern version of the Apache was first put into service in 1998. The helicopters cost about EUR 30 million each and there are six Dutch Apaches stationed in Kabul as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news