SAS “Banned” From Using RAF Pumas

By Staff Writer | June 8, 2009
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The Sunday Times news service in the United Kingdom is reporting that the British Army’s crack commando SAS forces have been “banned” from using RAF Puma helicopters in future operations. The move is reportedly the result of several fatal crashes that occurred when units were being deployed in various theaters, including Iraq. Sources told the Sunday Times that SAS personnel tend to push the pilots into operating the twin-engine helicopter well outside of the height-velocity envelope where the pilot has a reduced chance of recovering from a malfunction or performance fluctuation, particularly a low rotor RPM condition inherent in the Eurocopter Puma when flown beyond a published design limit. The Puma will remain in service, but the RAF, while acknowledging the loss of 10 servicemen in eight accidents between 2000 and 2007, would not comment further on their operational plans. For related information


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