Three Brazilian army crew members had a lucky escape when their Eurocopter AS550 Fennec helicopter crashed in Nova Friburgo on 20 January.

Media reports suggest that the mishap occurred when the single-engined aircraft was caught by a gust of wind while hovering a few feet above the ground before landing. One of 19 AS550s in Brazilian army service, it sustained substantial damage to its main rotor and Turbomecca Arriel 1D engine as it came to a rest on its side against a mound of earth.

 Brazil AS350 crash - KeystoneUSA ZUMA Rex Features

AS350 Brazil crash detail - KeystoneUSA ZUMA Rex F

Both images © KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex Features

The aircraft was being flown as part of the military's contribution to relief efforts following recent floods and mudslides near the capital Rio de Janeiro.

Pictures show the damaged aircraft as carrying the registration EB-1032, which Flightglobal's HeliCAS database says entered service in 1993.

Source: Flight International