A Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) Mil Mi-17 helicopter on a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission crash-landed in the Central African Republic due to adverse weather conditions.
The Sri Lankan Air Force confirmed the incident, which occurred on the morning of January 12, 2024.
No casualties were reported and, according to the SLAF, the pilot and the four crew members aboard the helicopter were not injured.
The SLAF said the helicopter was one of three Mi-17 from the armed forces that were engaged in a routine cargo flight for the UN.
It carried 1,200 kilograms of cargo and flew 140 nautical miles northeast of Bria when it crash-landed due to a rotor brownout resulting from extreme dust and sand conditions.
Following the incident, Air Marshal Udeni Rajapakse, Commander of the SLAF, directed an investigation team comprising peacekeeping officers from the Central African Republic to the location.
A special investigation team from the SLAF headquarters had also been appointed.
According to Military Africa, the SLAF deployed a pair of Mi-17 hip medium-lift utility helicopters to the Central African Republic in April 2022 to support the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA).