An NH-90 Caiman of the French Army Light Aviation was forced to jettison the container it was transporting during a relief operation near Nice, southwestern France.

Several military helicopters belonging to the French Army Light Aviation School (EALAT), were mobilized in the relief effort that followed the passage of the storm Alex, which devastated the outskirts of Nice, southern France. The fleet of aircraft helped transport supplies and evacuate inhabitants towards the city.

Amidst the inclement weather, one NH-90 Caiman TTH (tactical transport variant) was carrying out a mission to deliver a generator to a flood-stricken village. Shortly after taking off from Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE), the sling-loaded container started behaving erratically. 

“Although its mass can be transported by a helicopter of this type, the cargo behaved badly during transport, endangering the aircraft and its crew,” explained the General Staff of the Armed Forces to 20 Minutes. “For safety reasons, the choice was made to drop the load over the sea, in an area where its fall presented no risk.”

The incident was filmed by onlookers. An investigation was opened to determine what caused the dangerous behavior of the cargo.