German armed forces EC-135 helicopter crashes during training


An EC-135 helicopter belonging to the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, crashed near Hameln, Lower Saxony, on July 1, 2019. One of the two crew members died, making it the second deadly crash for the German military in less than a week.

The helicopter belonged to the International Helicopter Training Center in Bückeburg, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) away from the crash site. According to the German Army, the aircraft was on a training flight when it hit the ground. One of the two crew members died in the crash, while the second pilot was transported to the nearest hospital. The two lieutenants were “qualified helicopter pilots and were training to become flight instructors”.

A group of experts under the direction of General Aviation Safety of the Bundeswehr will now investigate to determine the cause of the crash. 

Developed by Airbus Helicopters, the EC-135 (also known as H135) is a multipurpose light twin-engine helicopter able to perform various missions such as training, reconnaissance, but also ground support. All of the Bundeswehr EC-135s are based in Bückeburg Air Base, where they are used for basic flying training. Pilots of allied nations such as Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands are also trained in Bückeburg.

A week prior to this deadly incident, on June 24, 2019, two Eurofighter EF-2000s of the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, collided during a training mission. While both pilots managed to eject, one of them was killed during the ejection.


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