German Tiger UHT. Photo courtesy of Airbus Helicopters
A Eurocopter EC665 belonging to the German military crashed July 26 in Mali, Africa, according to the Bundeswehr (German armed forces). Two crewmembers died. Reuters reported that the helicopter broke up in flight and lost its rotor while on a peacekeeping mission.
The German armed forces said July 29 that an investigation team — led by an investigator from the General Aviation Division in Goa, Mali — worked to secure evidence at both the accident scene and the location from which the helicopter originally took off. One of the two flight recorders was found that day; the other was recovered July 31. The Bundeswehr reported Aug. 1 that wreckage had been found, allowing the investigation to be put under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.
Reuters claimed it had seen a report from the defense ministry, which described the helicopter as entering into a sudden nosedive. “According to information available so far,” the report said, according to Reuters, “once the vehicle had started to descend, parts of the aircraft broke off, including the main rotor blades.”
The news report said that the deployment of the four EC665s to Mali was controversial from the start, since the Tigers would require extra maintenance while operating in Mali’s hot temperatures.