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Afghanistan: US Chinook helicopter destroyed in Helmand ‘hard landing’

Passengers and crew aboard a U.S. CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter were injured when it was destroyed during a “hard landing” in Afghanistan.

According to Colonel David Butler, spokesperson for U.S. Forces Afghanistan, a CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter “hit the ground hard on the way to drop passengers off” during a mission in Helmand province.

Butler said the helicopter had been totally destroyed during the landing.

“Both Afghan and U.S. personnel were injured but all are stable and expected to recover,” he told AFP.

“No hostile fire or enemy contact involved.”

Khaama Press reported a coalition official as saying a mechanical failure forced the Chinook to make an emergency landing on Friday.

CH-47F Chinook helicopter, Afghanistan
A U.S. Army Task Force Brawler CH-47F Chinook conducting a personnel recovery exercise with a Guardian Angel team assigned to the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, March 6, 2018.Image: US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook

Boeing-built Chinooks are the workhorse aircraft for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and are used to ferry troops and supplies across the country.

There are a number of variants of the twin-rotor helicopter in service. The CH-47F variant has a cruise speed of  290 km/h (180 mph) and service ceiling of 20,000 feet (6,000 m). It can carry a payload of more than 10,800 kg (24,000 lbs).

The Chinook has a standard crew of three and the large internal space can carry up to 50 passengers.

With reporting from AFP

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