Russian airforce helicopter crashes, killing one

AFP , Sunday 2 Aug 2015

Russia
A pilot stands near a burning Mi-28N from the Berkuty (Golden Eagles) helicopter display team after a hard touchdown during the "Aviadarts" military aviation competition at the Dubrovichi range near Ryazan, Russia, August 2, 2015. (Photo:Reuters)

A Russian airforce helicopter participating in an air show went down on Sunday, killing one pilot, the latest in a string of military crashes.

The Mi-28 attack helicopter was participating in an air show as part of a competition organised by the Russian defence military and crashed in front of thousands of spectators, Russian media reported from the event.

"One pilot has died, the condition of the other is satisfactory," the defence ministry said in a statement published by Russian news agencies.

The air show Aviadarts, where airforce plane and helicopter crews compete to carry out timed tasks, was suspended after the accident.

Television footage showed rescue workers attending to the smouldering helicopter lying on its side in the airfield after it fell and ignited upon contact.

The defence ministry said the accident was apparently caused by a hydraulic system failure, which was reported by the surviving pilot who catapulted out.

Soviet-designed Mi-28 has been used by the Russian airforce since the mid-2000 and is also exported to a number of countries including Iraq.

There have been at least six incidents over the past several weeks involving Russian military planes and helicopters.

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