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Military to improve ‘dust ball’ landings after fatal Afghan crash

Sept. 10, 2009, Ottawa  – Military investigators have confirmed a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan when it clipped a security wall July 6, killing three soldiers.


September 10, 2009
By Administrator

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Sept. 10, 2009, Ottawa  – Military investigators have confirmed a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan when it clipped a security wall July 6, killing three soldiers.

The flight-safety probe concluded that the pilot's view was obstructed by a blinding cloud of dust.

The Directorate of Flight Safety issued its report today, along with several recommendations to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

The crash killed Master Cpl. Pat Audet, 38, of Montreal, a flight engineer, and Cpl. Martin Joannette, 25, a gunner from St-Calixte, Que., along with a British combat engineer.

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Investigators say the first of two Griffon helicopters successfully completed a routine pick-up of soldiers at a forward operating base near Kandahar, kicking up a large dust cloud as it took off.

The second kicked up an even bigger cloud as it attempted full-power take-off and nosed into the security wall, spinning around and bursting into flames before smashing to the ground.


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