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C4iSR: Air

Cameroonian Z9 helicopter crashes

17 May 2019
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A Cameroonian Air Force (CAF) HAIG Z9WE attack helicopter crashed on 13 May, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed.

One of the Cameroonian Air Force's four Z9WE helicopters. It now only has two in service. (IHS Markit/Erwan de Cherisey)One of the Cameroonian Air Force's four Z9WE helicopters. It now only has two in service. (IHS Markit/Erwan de Cherisey)

The helicopter, which belonged to the 51st Air Squadron, took off from Air Base 501 at Bamenda to transport three government officials and a police officer and was preparing to land when adverse weather caused it to crash near the town of Oku, killing the police officer, several Cameroonian military sources told Jane's.

The survivors were evacuated by a Bell 412EP belonging to the elite Rapid Intervention Battalions' (BIR) Airmobile Rapid Intervention Group (GIRAM).

A BIR officer told Jane's that it took approximately two hours to locate the Z9, assess the situation on the ground, and request a medical evacuation (medevac) by the Bell 412EP kept mission-ready at the GIRAM's main base in Man O' War Bay in the South-West Region. The aircraft was in the air with a medical doctor and the necessary equipment within 15 minutes of receiving the request.

The helicopter had to fly for approximately 90 minutes to reach Oku. Having picked up the six casualties, it took off for Douala, but night had fallen, so the crew flew by instruments with little to no external references.

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