Update on Afghanistan helicopter incident

Defence has been able to rule out insur­gent ground fire as a pos­si­ble cause for the CH-47D Chi­nook crash in south­ern Afghanistan yes­ter­day which killed Lieu­tenant Mar­cus Case and wound­ed five Army Avi­a­tion air­crew.

A review of known facts by ADF per­son­nel in Afghanistan today has con­clud­ed that there was no evi­dence of insur­gent activ­i­ty in the vicin­i­ty of the inci­dent site or on the imme­di­ate flight path before the crash. 

Chief of Joint Oper­a­tions Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Ash Pow­er said that sev­er­al key ques­tions were still to be answered but he was con­fi­dent insur­gent action could be ruled out as a pos­si­ble cause for the heli­copter impact­ing with the ground. 

“While we are yet to under­stand exact­ly what led to the inci­dent, I am com­fort­able that the avail­able evi­dence pre­cludes insur­gent small arms fire or rock­et attack as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor,” Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Pow­er said. 

“Today’s review of events close­ly cor­re­lates with the obser­va­tions of air­crew in the trail air­craft who did not see any insur­gent activ­i­ty at the time of the incident.” 

The five crew mem­bers who sur­vived the inci­dent have been med­ical­ly assessed as being in a sat­is­fac­to­ry con­di­tion and have been released from hospital. 

The Aus­tralian Defence Force will con­duct an air safe­ty inves­ti­ga­tion into the incident. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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