A Royal Air Force-operated Airbus Helicopters Puma HC2 transport crashed in Afghanistan on 11 October, killing five of the 10 personnel aboard the upgraded type.

Announcing the loss of two RAF personnel on 11 October, the Ministry of Defence said: “The deaths occurred in Kabul following an accident involving a UK Puma Mk 2 helicopter”. An investigation has been launched and confirms the crash “was an accident, and not the result of insurgent activity”.

UK operations with the Puma HC2 in Afghanistan are being conducted under the auspices of NATO’s train, advise and assist mission in the country; also known as operation Resolute Support.

Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer database records the RAF as having had 22 Puma HC2s in active use before the accident. Assigned to the service’s 33 and 230 squadrons at Benson in Oxfordshire, 24 of the rotorcraft were recently upgraded with features including a digital cockpit and more powerful Turbomeca Makila 1A1 engines. The latter are intended to boost performance in hot and high conditions, such as those encountered in Afghanistan.

RAF Puma HC2 - Crown Copyright

Crown Copyright

The crash represents the first loss of an HC2-model Puma.

Source: FlightGlobal.com