Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Crew unharmed in helicopter crash

Military and civilian investigators at the scene where a military Puma helicopter crashed
Military and civilian investigators at the scene where a military Puma helicopter crashed

An RAF helicopter pilot and two crew members have escaped without serious injury after crash-landing in a field.

Police said the crewmen were able to walk away unharmed after the Puma helicopter came down close to the A303, near the Walworth industrial estate in Andover, Hampshire.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: "Police in Andover were called at 1.26pm this afternoon after receiving reports that a helicopter had crash-landed.

"On arrival, officers found a military Puma helicopter on a training exercise from Benson had made a crash-landing.

"The pilot and two crew members onboard were unharmed and were able to walk away from the crash scene.

"Military investigators are expected to lead on the investigation that led to the incident.

"The immediate area around the crash scene has been cordoned off to allow investigators to gather any evidence or clues that will assist them in establishing the circumstances that led to the helicopter getting into difficulties."

An RAF spokeswoman said the incident took place during a "routine training sortie", adding: "There are no fatalities. The crew are walking wounded."

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said two appliances were standing by at the scene. They are ready to deal with any environmental issues, should there be any leakage of aviation fuel.

The Puma is a battlefield helicopter used to move troops and heavy loads. It can carry up to 16 fully-equipped men or two tonnes of freight.

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