The Royal Netherlands Air Force is to improve its operating procedures for the Boeing AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, following an investigation into an August 2004 crash involving the service in Afghanistan, writes Anno Gravemaker.

Pilot error has been identified as having caused the crash, which happened when two Dutch Apaches, call-signed Mayhem 1 and 2, flew from Kabul international airport to Bagram airbase entirely below 200ft (60m).

The accident took place when Mayhem 1's front seat pilot attempted to pass control of the aircraft, announcing: "Your controls." The rear crew member responded "No, stand by", but his command was not understood by the pilot, who released the controls. The Apache lost altitude and crashed, injuring one pilot.

The study recommended that Apache pilots change controls only when there are no other tasks and when both have a full overview of the mission situation.

Source: Flight International