Tag Archives: crash

Third crash troubles Swiss Air Force

The Swiss Air Force on Wednesday 28 September endured it third crash in three months, as a AS532 Super Puma crashed in the Gotthard area. Images on social media show a burning helicopter. Two fatalities were confirmed by the Swiss Ministry of Defense several hours after the accident. The crash follows that of an F-5 Tiger in June and an F-18 Hornet in August.

The cause of today’s crash is not yet clear, but it took place in a relatively flat area in the otherwise mountainous Gotthard region in Switzerland. The Swiss have been operating Puma and Super Puma helicopters for decades.

Patrouille Suisse
The crash of an F-5 Tiger on 9 June was the result of an collision with another F-5 of the Patrouille Suisse display team during an airshow over Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. The pilot ejected while his jet came down in a small lake.

The crash of an F-18 Hornet took place near Meiringen air base in central Switzerland. The pilot was unfortunately killed as his jet impacted the side of a mountain. The accident is still being investigated, but preliminary results say the aircraft was flying lower than was required.

It seems very unlikely the recent crashes are in anyway connected. Nevertheless, re-checking safety procedures may be a wise thing to do for the Swiss. The US Navy recently did a similar thing after a quick string of crashes with military aircraft.



Russian Airbus A321 crashes in Egypt

An Airbus A321 belonging to Russian airline Kogalymavia/Metrojet has crashed in the Sinaï desert in Egypt on Saturday 31 October. Over 100 bodies have already been recovered from the wreckage. Local authorities say all 224 persons on board lost their lives. The aircaft took off from Sharm-el-Sheikh 23 minutes before the crash and was heading to Sint-Petersburg with flight number #7K926.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. According to Flightradar24.com, vertical speed reached 600 ft per minute prior to loss of contact. Noteworthy is that terrorist groups are known to operate in the area where the plane went down.

One of the aircraft black boxes was found several hours after the crash. Meanwhile, Russia has opened up a criminal investigation and Russian president Vladimir Putin expressed his condolances to the families of the victims.

Metrojet operates five A321s and last June signed a deal for four more. Airbus says the accident airrcaft was produced in 1997 and since 2012 operated by Metrojet. The aircraft had accumulated some 56000 flight hours in nearly 21000 flights. It was powered by IAE-V2500 engines.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Metrojet Airbus A321. (Image © Metrojet)

Disaster for AgustaWestland AW609 tilt rotor

Disaster struck the AgustaWestland AW609 tilt rotor program on Friday 30 October, as the prototype aircraft chrashed near Piemonte in Italy. Two test pilots died in the crash. The crash is a major setbback for the program that is aimed at developing the first tilt rotor aircraft for the civilian market.

The AgustaWestland AW609 first flew on 6 March 2003 in Arlington, Texas. The aircraft shares its roots with the Bell V-22 Osprey. Two prototypes were in use until today, with two more on the way.

The tilt rotor concept remains a challenge for developers and engineers. The V-22’s development was also troubled by crashes and complex engineering problems.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

Swiss Hornet crashes in France

UPDATE 18 October 2015 | A Swiss Air Force Boeing F/A-18D Hornet crashed on Wednesday 14 October in the French area of Glamondans dans le Doubs, just over the Swiss border. The pilot ejected from his aircraft and was brought to a hospital in ok condition. The crash happened in the morning and Swiss authorities confirmed the accident in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

Update 18 October | The Swiss Air Force has temporarily put limits on high angle of attack manoeuvres following the crash

The pilot took off from Payerne airbase in Switzerland, not far from where the crash occured. The aircraft was involved in a training exercise with two Swiss F-5 Tigers when things went wrong. The cause is under investigation.

The last crash with a Swiss Air Force F-18 happened just two years ago, when another F/A-18D two seater crashed near Alpnach in central Switzerland, killing the two crew members. Pilot error was found to be the cause of that crash.

In total, three out of 34 Swiss Hornets crashed over the years. Remarkably, all three were F/A-18Ds, leaving two seater Hornets in short supply in Switzerland. Only five are now left in service.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Switzerland now has only five of these F/A-18Ds left. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

US Air Force F-16 crashes in Germany

A US Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed on Tuesday 11 August in southern Germany, according to reports in German media. The aircraft apparently suffered engine troubles, forcing the pilot to eject. He sustained minor injuries.

The crash happened at 09.38 hours local time near the town of Bayreuth in Bavaria. The aircraft came down in a wooded area. The aircraft was stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base, home to the US Air Force’s 52nd Fighter Wing flying Lockheed Martin F-16C/D fighter jets.

The accident happened during a training flight over the US Army training facility in Grafenwöhr, according to the USAF. Following the crash, the 52nd Fighter Wing cancelled flying operations for 24 hours for safety reasons.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): A Spangdahlem-based F-16, seen here landing at its homebase. (Image © Elmer van Hest)