A Bell 0H-58D helicopter crashed on its way back to Hsinchu Air Force Base after participating in one of the annual exercises simulating an attack by mainland China. Both crew members were killed.

The week-long exercises called Han Kuang test the capabilities of the Taiwanese armed forces to repel a possible invasion of the Chinese armed forces.

After participating in one of the exercises, the Bell 0H-58D Kiowa that belonged to the Aviation and Special Forces Command returned to Hsinchu Air Force Base where it made a hard landing. The aircraft caught fire upon impact. 

The pilot and co-pilot on board were both recovered by the firefighters and were transported to the base’s hospital, where they both died of their injuries. 

All helicopters of the Republic of China Army (ROCA) are grounded while the cause of the incident is being investigated. It is the third hard landing of an OH-58D Kiowa in the last two years, and the first one to be fatal, according to Taiwan News. 

On January 2, 2020, the crash of a UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter of the Taiwanese Air Force (ROCAF) during a flight between two bases killed Taiwan’s chief of the general staff.

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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.