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SAAF helicopter on UN mission in DRC damaged in taxying incident

Date: 21 July 2015

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By Dean Wingrin

No-one was injured when a South African Air Force (SAAF) Oryx helicopter suffered damaged to its' nose on Saturday July 18 whilst operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Unconfirmed reports state that the helicopter, serial 1209 (UNO 827), was taxing on the ground at Goma airport in the eastern DRC at 14H45 when the nose wheel hit the 5cm raised section of a resurfaced taxyway area. This caused the nose wheel to collapse, leaving the helicopter nose down on the apron.

The SAAF operates a number of Oyx medium-transport helicopters as part of an SANDF deployment in the DRC are part of the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission and the UN FIB (Force Intervention Brigade).

In May this year, another SAAF Oryx flying in the DRC was hit by small arms fire when flying the MONUSCO Force Commander on a routine visit to the Bunia area of operations when several shots from a small calibre weapon were fired at it from unidentified gunmen on the ground. One of the projectiles penetrated an internal fuel tank, causing a small fuel leak. The aircraft commander took evasive action, flew out of the danger zone and diverted safely to Beni Mavivi Airport.


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