Several Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) have died and others seriously injured after a military helicopter crash-landed at the Ol Tepesi area in Ngong, Kajiado County.
KDF spokesperson Zipporah Kioko confirmed that all soldiers on board the Kenya Air Force Mi 171E helicopter had been accounted for with several having died in the crash. She, however, did not issue official figures on the number of survivors and fatalities.
“The injured were airlifted and are at the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital, Nairobi… Regrettably, following the crash, we suffered fatalities. The process of communicating with the families to relay the information and KDF condolences are underway,” she said in a statement.
The Kenya Air Force Mi 171E helicopter with a capacity of 24 was on a training mission when it crashed.
Speaking to Citizen TV, Kenya Air Force Commander Major General Francis Ogolla said the helicopter departed the Moi Airbase at 8.10 am before it crashed at landing several minutes later.
“This was a very unfortunate incident that happened today at 8.30am… Our aircraft which was on a normal training mission involving several crew departed Moi airbase at 8.10am. As it was coming to land, we got information that it crashed. Some people have been rescued and taken to Nairobi for treatment. A few who were on board are feared dead but we are not sure of the exact number,” said the Air Force Commander.
He pointed out that aircraft was okay, adding that an investigative team had began a probe to establish what caused the helicopter to crash.
“Until we remove the wreckage and conclude with the site we will not be able to tell you how many have passed on. The aircraft was okay and therefore we have put up an investigative team to come on ground and find out what might have been the cause,” he said.
Aircraft accident investigators are at the crash site to establish the cause of the accident.
Source : Citizen Tv
Features of KDF’s Mi-171E Chopper That Crashed in Kajiado
According to US Homeland Security, the Mi-171E multipurpose helicopter is produced by Russian company Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant and developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant.
Mi-171E is made of high-strength aluminium metal and has a five-bladed main rotor and a three-bladed tail rotor.
It is powered by two enhanced VK-2500-03 engines which use up to 2,400 hp (horsepower) take-off power and 2,700hp contingency power. It flies up to a maximum speed of 250km/h.
The KDF plane’s cabin is designed to carry up to 30 passengers and can be adjusted to create room for cargo. Inside, it has a state of the art air-conditioning system, leather-wrapped armchairs and sound insulators.
It can be used for patrolling, forest fire-fighting, medical assistance, search-and-rescue (SAR) missions and disaster response.
For SAR missions, the plane is fitted with searchlight, rappelling equipment, loudspeaker station, heli-bucket and radiolocation systems.
It also has a ground proximity warning system (GPWS) which notifies the crew of collisions and objects in the vicinity. The Mi-171e is one of the latest variants of the Mi-8/17 helicopter US HOMELAND SECURITY
The chopper is capable of flying in adverse weather conditions and can be flown during nighttime special and covert operations. It has night vision goggles which boost its navigation equipment.
Mi-171E also has an auxiliary power plant, upgraded transmissions, and internal fuel tanks. One plane costs approximately Ksh1.2 billion.