MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) -
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Two pilots died after a Kamov Ka-52 (Hokum B) attack helicopter crashed during a training flight near Torzhok in Russia’s Tver Region on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry said.
“A rescue group found the helicopter some 10 kilometers west of Torzhok air field at 08.45 am Moscow Time” he said. One pilot died immediately in the crash, and the second died in hospital shortly after.
There was no ammunition on board the helicopter, which was conducting a training flight, Konashenkov added.
The Defense Ministry has said it will not suspend Ka-52 flights as a result of the incident. An investigation group has been set up to find the causes of the crash. The aircraft’s flight data recorders will soon be handed over to specialists to establish the reasons behind the accident, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said.
This is the first loss of a Ka-52 multirole attack helicopter, but there have been previous accidents involving the single-seat Ka-50, from which the Ka-52 is derived.
A Ka-50 crashed in June 1998 during an air display, killing the base commander at Torzhok. An official accident report said the helicopter's co-axial rotor blades hit each other during hard maneuvering.
The Ka-50 and Ka-52 are unique among helicopters in having ejection seats. The seats operate after explosives in the rotor head blow off the rotor blades to give the crew a safe exit.
The Ka-52 is armed with a 30-mm cannon, Vikhr (Whirlwind) laser-guided missiles, rockets and bombs. The helicopter is also equipped with two radars, one for ground and one for aerial targets and a Samshite day- night thermal imaging system.
Development of the Ka-52 started in 1994 in Russia, but serial production only began in 2008.
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