Cause of fatal military helicopter crash raises more questions: Dutch Safety Board
The Dutch Safety Board was able to determine the cause of a fatal military helicopter crash near Aruba in July, but the investigation raised more questions. Further investigation is needed, the Safety Board said, ANP reports.
Two soldiers were killed when the NH90 helicopter crashed into the sea near the island on July 19. The accident happened while practicing landing the helicopter on the deck of naval vessel Zr. Ms. Groningen, which is stationed in the Caribbean.
"The investigation by the Dutch Safety Board showed that the helicopter ran into problems because the aircraft, by making a turn, ended up at the same speed as the wind. As a result, the device hung still in the air, as it were," the researchers said. "A lot of extra power is then needed to keep the helicopter in the air. The pilot deployed extra power, but due to the low flying height, it was impossible to correct the initiated drop in time. The helicopter quickly lost altitude and hit the water within seconds."
The two soldiers who were seated in the back of the helicopter managed to free themselves and were rescued from the water. The pilot and the tactical coordinator in the front of the helicopter were stuck in the aircraft and drowned.
The investigation showed that the crew of the Zr. Ms. Gronignen did everything in their power to rescue their colleagues, but the high waves and limited capacity and equipment on board made it impossible.
This raised further questions. "These questions relate to the education and training of the crew, the choice to fly with one pilot per NH90 helicopter, and the choices made about equipment on the naval ship Zr. Ms. Groningen," the researchers said. The Defense Security Inspectorate will conduct further investigation.