Bulgarian Air Force Mi-17 Helicopter Crashes at Krumovo Air Base Killing Both Pilots

A Bulgarian Air Force Mi-17 military transport helicopter crashed at 8:30 pm local time at the Krumovo Air Base near Plovdiv in Southern Bulgaria during a training flight, on June 11, 2018. Both pilots were killed at the scene and the loadmaster was injured.

The crash occurred when the helicopter was returning to the air base after the completion of a training exercise, in which the crew simulated a low-altitude rescue mission. The helicopter made three training flights with different crews earlier in the day and was scheduled to carry out two more.

According to the local media, the aircraft reportedly lost control as it was coming in for landing and fell from a height of around 30 metres, giving the crew no time to react. The report added that the two pilots had 600 hours and 500 hours flight experience respectively.

The helicopter, with a serial no: 417, belonged to 24 Vertoletna Aviacionna Basa (24.VAB) based at 24 Air Base, Plovdiv/ Krumovo. The aircraft was reportedly overhauled recently.

Last July, a military helicopter crashed into the Black Sea off the Bulgarian coast during tactical drills, killing an officer and injuring two others.

The Mil Mi-17 (NATO reporting name: Hip) is a Russian medium twin-turbine military transport helicopter. It is known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service.

The helicopter is in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude. There are also armed gunship versions of the chopper.

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