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Merkel narrowly escapes helicopter near-crash

The Local · 20 Mar 2011, 09:41

Published: 20 Mar 2011 09:41 GMT+01:00

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The helicopter had been transporting the chancellor from the town of Friedrichshafen am Bodensee to an election campaign event in Waldshut-Tiengen on the Swiss border.

After Merkel got off at her destination, the three-person crew began the journey back to their base near Munich. But near Augsburg, at an altitude of 1,600 metres, both engines of the Super Puma 332 suddenly died and the helicopter plunged toward the ground.

Crew members were able to restart the vehicle's engines only when it was several hundred metres above the earth.

"It's a precarious situation when both engines go out at the same time," a police official told the Bild am Sonntag. "The crew acted just as they were supposed to and got the engines going again."

The cause of the near-crash is still unknown and an investigation is now underway. The helicopter was in mint condition and first entered service in December 2010.

Experts at this point do not think sabotage was involved.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:39 March 20, 2011 by yhsanjay
I think VVIP helicopters and airplanes need to be better checked by ground duty engineers.Though the helicopter was new, that does not absolve it of all mechanical faults.
16:27 March 20, 2011 by wood artist
I think the headline is completely misleading. How does someone not even on-board narrowly avoid a crash that never happened?

Her flight, as best I can tell, was completely normal, so she's not even a part of the story. I would be no different than saying 12 years ago, somebody important rode in this airplane, so they just avoided being part of the crash (which didn't happen)

Gotta wonder if it's a slow news day.

17:29 March 20, 2011 by rfwilson
What a non-story! Not only was Merkel not on the helicopter, but even though it lost power, it was at sufficient height that it could safely "autorotate" to a safe landing without power. Slow news day indeed!
18:36 March 20, 2011 by tallady
Who Cares???
08:24 March 21, 2011 by auniquecorn
1,600 metres is pretty high, I think the pilots just got cold and decided to turn off the fan.
09:13 March 21, 2011 by tech71
That will reach them to fill up on super E10
14:56 March 21, 2011 by LecteurX
Wow, it must be exciting being Angela Merkel. Next headline: "Merkel narrowly escapes Times Square failed bombing"... after it emerged she had been in Times Square 6 months before some guy was caught trying to set off a bomb there...
05:44 April 6, 2011 by rmstock
Wasn't it the case that Merkel refused to take part in a ¦#39;NO FLY ZONE OVER LIBYA¦#39;

and voted NO?
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