BuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2945 posts, RR: 3 Posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2785 times:
Fair use excerpt:
Sierra Leone's Transport Minister, Prince Harding, has been suspended pending an investigation into the cause of Sunday's helicopter crash. Three days of mourning have been announced for the 22 people who died at Sierra Leone's main airport. The helicopter had previously been grounded after failing safety checks. Mr Harding has denied any wrongdoing. Sierra Leone's two top aviation officials have also been suspended and all commercial helicopters grounded.
Helicopters and ferries are the only way to reach the airport, which is located across a bay from Freetown. One of the two Ukrainian pilots survived when the helicopter burst into flames as it came into land. The remains of the passengers are expected to be flown back to Lome in Togo on Wednesday.
VC10BOAC From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 407 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2525 times:
I am surprised it took so long to happen. I rode in one of those helicopters when I visited a couple years ago. The two Russian pilots were unshaven and looked like they had been drinking all night. When the helicopter started, black smole that smelled like burning oil filled the cabin and I thought I was going to die.
A few months ago, one on them lifted off the ground a couple feet at the airport, then there was a loud bang with smoke everywhere and the helicopter plummetted back to the ground. Would you believe those crazy pilots immediately tried to take off again? The passengers had to pull them fway drom the controls and rough them up a bit. I personally know someone who was on board and it was reported in the local press. I will try to find the article.
Some points from the article in no particular order of prose...
The Russian copilot of the Paramount Airlines Mi-8 was the only survivor. The machine caught fire as it tried to land. The Togolese government has decreed three days of national mourning. All helicopter flights have been banned. The director of the Paramount Airlines, which has been blacklisted by the EU, thinks it unlikely that the accident was a mechanical problem.
BuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2945 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1969 times:
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 9): The minister of transport and three others were arrested Monday for corruption--accepting bribes in exchange for allowing flights on aircraft that were not properly maintained.
Interesting development! Are the helicopters flying again (I mean of the other companies?)