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Russian military helicopter crashes near Moscow, killing all on board

Russian military Mi-8 helicopter landing (Pavel Kazachkov/Flickr)
May 19, 2020

A Russian Air Force helicopter crashed on Tuesday, killing all crew members aboard.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the Mi-8 helicopter crashed approximately 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Moscow in the town of Klin, killing three crew members, Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

“According to preliminary information, the cause of the disaster could be a technical malfunction,” the Defense Ministry said, according to a translation.

The helicopter was conducting a training exercise, but was unarmed.

Officials said the helicopter had “made a hard landing in a deserted area.”

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The Chief Command of the Russian Aerospace Forces sent a team to the scene of the crash, and they later found both of the aircraft’s black boxes.

This is Russia’s second incident with the Mi-8 helicopter this year. The previous incident, in February, also involved a “hard landing” due to a snowstorm, but was not fatal.

RIA Novosti outlined 23 other incidents with the Mi-8 in the past two years alone, which include 14 accidents in 2018, and nine in 2019.

Tuesday’s crash is the sixth fatal accident in 25 incidents with the helicopter.

The Mi-8 helicopter was created in the 1960s in the Soviet Union and is considered among Russia’s most reliable helicopters. The helicopter is also used in dozens of other countries.