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South African Air Force Agusta A109 crashes in Centurion

South African Air Force Agusta A109 crashes in Centurion

South African Air Force Agusta A109 crashed near the R101 next to the Swartkop Golf Estate near Swartkop AFB (FASK), Centurion, after a technical malfunction.  Both pilots were seriously injured.

Rescue Care spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said Emer-G-Med Paramedics responded to the call and found two patients had sustained serious injuries.

“They were stabilised on the scene by Advanced Life Support Paramedics before being flown to nearby Hospitals for the urgent care that they required. The scene was cornered off after the injured were transported for further investigation,” he said.

“At this stage the events leading up to the helicopter crashing is unknown, however, will be investigated by all relevant services.”

The aircraft, registration 4006, was on its way from Nasrec south of Johannesburg to Air Force Base Swartkop in Pretoria for refuelling when the accident occurred.

It had been practising for the Rand Show that opens tomorrow. A109s were due to carry flags and take part in the South African National Defence Force’s capability demonstration.

The South African National Defense Force spokesperson Simphiwe Dlamini confirmed the accident, saying it was one of the SANDF’s utility helicopters, an Agusta A109.

“Fortunately, there were no injuries but our members were taken to our medical facility to be examined,” he said.

Dlamini did not want to speculate on the cause of the accident but said there were investigators on the scene on Friday afternoon to investigate.

The A109 was purchased to replace the elderly Eurocopter SA-316/SA-319 Alouette III helicopters, which had been in service since 1962 in the light utility role. Delivery of the 30 A109 helicopters purchased from the Anglo-Italian AgustaWestland helicopter company under the R2.4 billion Project Flange commenced on October 19, 2005. Deliveries were beset with delays and difficulties and an option for a further ten was not exercised.

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