Ukraine has suffered two serious Mil Mi-8 helicopter crashes in just over a month. On 28 April, a 20 year-old Crimean State Aircraft Enterprise Universal-Avia Mi-8T transport helicopter (UR-24275) crashed at 0938 local time on the Tavrida floating oil platform in the Black Sea, some 70km (38nm) offshore, killing all 20 people on board.
A month before, on 27 March, a Ukrainian Border Guard Mi-8 crashed at 1145 local time off an island in the Danube delta, killing 12 of 13 people on board. The helicopter was carrying three crew members, 10 passengers and two tonnes of equipment to build a border post on Snake Island near the frontier between Ukraine and Romania.
The Universal Avia helicopter was on a regular flight to deliver a new shift to the Tavrida rig when just before landing the helicopter tail rotor hit the platform fence, impacted the rig and exploded. All three crew members and 17 Chornomornaftogaz workers were killed in the crash. The government has appointed transport and communications minister Yosyp Vinskyi as the head of the commission to investigate the crash. He says: "As far as I know the helicopter was in good condition and had passed all regular checks." The director of Universal-Avia Oleksandr Kovtun says the helicopter was flown by experienced crew members who regularly fly to the Chornomornaftogaz platforms in the sea, and they had logged 10,000 flying hours each.