Fatal Dutch AH-64 Apache crash in Mali

Update 21 March: helicopter involved was serial Q-15, according to the Dutch
Ministry of Defense. | A Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) AH-64D Apache has crashed in Mali on Tuesday 17 March, according to news reports. The two crew members were  killed in the accident, which happened in the northern province of Gao.

The helicopter went down at 2pm local time during a live shooting exercise, some 45 kilometers north of Gao. One of the pilots died on the scene, while the other one died in a French army hospital. Both were members of 301 squadron, home based at Gilze Rijen airbase in the southern part of the Netherlands.

The RNLAF deployed four AH-64D Apache attack helicopters and three Boeing CH-47D Chinook transport helos to the African nation to support UN peace keeping operations. The first helicopters arrived here in May 2014.

The accident marks the second time the Dutch loose an Apache during operations abroad. On 29 August 2004, an Apache crashed while in Afghanistan. The cause was later determined to be crew error. The Netherlands now operates a fleet of 28 remaining Apaches, of which a small number is kept in the US for training purposes.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

Q-15, the Dutch AH-64D Apache involved in the crash in Mali. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Q-15, the Dutch AH-64D Apache involved in the crash in Mali. (Image © Elmer van Hest)