Africa Major Helo Crash

atpcliff

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allAfrica.com
NEWS
4 June 2007

A Paramount Airlines helicopter in Sierra Leone crashed Sunday, reportedly killing at least 19. The helicopter was carrying passengers from an African Cup of Nations qualifying match where Togo won 1-0 in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, to the airport.

Richard Attipoe, Togo's minister of sport, is among the dead. The World Aeronautical Press Agency reports the helicopter "developed mechanical problems and its engines failed" before it crashed. The Ukranian pilots both jumped from the aircraft before it crashed, but only one survived, the agency said.

A river separates the city of Freetown from the airport. For many years, the sparcity and unreliability of transport between the capital and the airport has been a bottleneck. Aging helicopters and frequently out-of-service ferries and hovercraft have been the only way to avoid a several-hour detour to a land crossing of the Sierra Leone River that separates Lungi Airport from Freetown. President Kabbah had pledged that he would build a bridge to connect the capital to the airport by the end of his term this year - a goal which is far from being realized.

Paramount Airlines, owned by a Nigerian businessman, is one of the few carriers operating helicopter flights between the city and the airport. The air carrier is banned in the EU; however, outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair used its services during his recent visit to Sierra Leone.

Nice. Leave your PAX behind and abandon ship. They sound just like the manager of the White Star Lines on the Titanic.

cliff
GRB
 

pilot24

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It sounds to me like the helicopter was still somewhat flyable if the pilots had time to get out of the 5-point, open doors, throw their legs over the cyclic and jump. I wonder if the surviving pilot feels the least bit guilty. I can imagine the lawsuits already...
 

BornAgainPagan

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Nice. Leave your PAX behind and abandon ship. They sound just like the manager of the White Star Lines on the Titanic.

cliff
GRB
A helicopter is not a ship and a romantic maritime tradition of the Captain going down with the ship does not apply if there is zero chance of mitigating the impact.

Unless you have a final report, you don't know enough to pass judgment on the pilots for jumping. It could have easily been that the pilots realized that there was no chance of recovering from whatever happened and took their chances.....nothing wrong with that.
 
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