Military helicopter crashes off the coast of Algeria [Video]

An AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin military search and rescue helicopter of the Algerian Navy, registered as MS-25, was on a technical training flight with three pilots on board on December 16, 2020. For an unknown reason, the aircraft crashed at sea, two nautical miles (three kilometers) north-west off the coast of the city of Bouharoun, west of Algiers.

Amateur footage of the incident shows the helicopter spinning uncontrollably before crashing into the calm sea. A warship of the Algerian Navy was sent to the crash site to search for the missing crew members. The three occupants were eventually pronounced dead.

The Algerian Ministry of National Defense announced an investigation was ordered to find out the causes and circumstances of the crash.

In 2011, the Algerian Navy acquired a total of six AgustaWestland AW.101 Merlin for search and rescue missions at sea and long-range medical evacuation. The three-turbine helicopter is capable of carrying eight equipped soldiers or four wounded on stretcher and a doctor.

In May 2017, one of the helicopters returning from a patrol mission crashed after striking a high voltage power line. The three soldiers on board died.


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