Second fatal crash of German army helicopter in a week

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Second fatal crash of German army helicopter in a week
Firefighters at the crash scene. Photo: DPA

An army helicopter crashed in northern Germany on Monday, killing the pilot, defence officials said, in the second fatal crash in a week for a military plagued with equipment problems.


The EC 135 model aircraft hit the ground in Aerzen, near Hamelin in northwest Germany, at around 1:45 pm. The reason for the crash is not yet known.

Firefighters rushed to the scene of the crash, which caused multiple blazes in a nearby forested area.

The impact site is around 30 kilometres from the Bundeswehr (German army) helicopter training centre in Bückeburg.

The pilot was killed and one person injured, a defence ministry spokesman told AFP.

As a result of the crash, a grain field burned first, a spokesman for the fire brigade said, and the flames were quickly extinguished.

"A military security area has been set up", the Bundeswehr announced.

The EC 135 model is a light, twin-engined multi-purpose helicopter, which is mainly used for air rescue and surveillance tasks.

Another deadline crash

Just a week ago two Eurofighter jets crashed in northeastern Germany after colliding in mid-air, with one pilot killed while a second ejected to safety.

SEE ALSO: Four killed as helicopter and plane collide in southern Germany

The military recovered both planes' black boxes and was investigating the cause of the crash, while some politicians called for a ban on training missions over populated areas.

Germany has in recent years suffered a string of problems with military equipment, with only fractions of its fleets of tanks, ships and aircraft combat-ready at any time.

The problems have persisted despite multiple increases in the defence ministry's budget, although spending remains below the NATO goal of two percent of GDP.

SEE ALSO: More women soldiers and less equipment: A look at Germany's army in numbers



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