Pilot hurt as Dutch Apache crashes near Kabul
30 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — A Dutch Apache combat helicopter crashed in Afghanistan at about 3.30pm local time on Sunday, slightly injuring one of the two crew members, the Defence Ministry has said.
The helicopter went down near the Afghan capital Kabul and the two pilots were airlifted by US personnel attached to the Combat Search and Rescue squad to the US hospital at the Bagram air base. It is the first Dutch Apache to have crashed.
The cause of the crash is not yet known, but it has been confirmed that the helicopter was not brought down by enemy fire. It is considered probable that the crash was due to a technical glitch, news agency ANP reported.
The helicopter was involved in surveillance operations with another Dutch Apache in the skies above Kabul. After the crash, the other helicopter flew safely to the Bagram air base, before returning later to the Dutch air base.
Both Apaches are stationed at the Kabul International Airport and are involved in security operations with the ISAF international peacekeeping force.
The Royal Dutch Air Force deployed six Apaches to Afghanistan at the end of March and the Cabinet recently decided to extend the mission to the end of March 2005. About 110 personnel are serving with the Apache deployment.
The families of the two crew members have been informed and the crashed helicopter will be salvaged. The Dutch air force has launched an investigation into the incident.
[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news