Bad few days for South African Aviation
Witnessed by Charlie Hugo
During the 2018 Air Power Capability demonstration held at the Roodevaal bombing range, a SAAF Oryx helicopter was involved in a hard-landing incident. The incident occurred during a troop-insertion exercise and the cause of the incident is still undetermined. The helicopter impacted the ground heavily, causing structural failure of the tail boom.
The quick reaction of the flight crew during the emergency is a testament to the training of the pilots and crew of the helicopter as shutdown procedures were initiated rapidly to allow rapid assistance from the emergency services. Even though the helicopter crashed the combat troops deployed around the helicopter in a defensive circle. The strength of the helicopter was also instrumental in preserving the well-being of the crew and troops as the only injury suffered was a minor ankle injury to the pilot of the helicopter.