Deadly helicopter crash kills Taiwan top military chief
A Taiwanese military helicopter crashed in a mountainous area near the capital of Taipei on January 2, 2020. Eight of the thirteen occupants were killed, including Taiwan’s chief of the general staff.
The UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter took off from Taipei-Songshan airbase and was on its way to another military base at Dong'ao, north-east of Taiwan. The aircraft was transporting a delegation of several military officials, including chief of the general staff Shen Yi-ming, the country’s top military commander.
Ten minutes into the flight, contact was lost. The helicopter crashed southeast of Taipei, the country’s capital.
A search and rescue team, composed of two helicopters and a hundred soldiers on the ground, located the wreckage in a mountainous and densely forested area, reported Taiwan’s defense ministry. Five occupants were rescued, the remaining eight were found dead.
Due to poor weather conditions on the crash site, survivors could not be evacuated by helicopter and had to be taken to the nearest hospital through “muddy and very steep” mountain roads, the supervisor of the operation said.
The helicopter involved, registration number 933, was delivered to the Taiwanese Air Force (ROCAF) in 2018. An investigation was opened to determine the reasons behind the crash.
In 2018, another Taiwanese Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a medical mission off the east coast, killing the six people on board.
In 2017, a ROCAF Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet disappeared from radar near the islet of Pengjia. The initial search did not find any trace of the aircraft, and the pilot was declared killed in action. The flight data recorder (FDR) of the fighter jet was found only on October 3, 2019.
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