Three airmen were killed when a Burmese Air Force helicopter crashed in the Pegu Division town of Daik-U on Tuesday, the military has confirmed.
The MI-2 helicopter crashed under heavy weather after it took off from the Meikhtila Air Base in Mandalay in the morning.
According to a statement published on the Facebook page of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, the aircraft had just gone through heavy maintenance work and was to be stationed at the airbase in Myeik (also known as Mergui) in Tenasserim Division. It departed from Meikhtila around 8:40am and refuelled at Taungoo airbase before departing for Hmawbi airbase in Rangoon around 11am.
The helicopter’s pilot Major Yang Naing Htoo, co-pilot Captain Tun Tun Naing and crew member Sergeant Tin Tun Lwin died in the crash.
Zaw Moe Lwin, a police officer in Pegu’s Phyu Township who was at the crash site, said: “The crash site is near to the milestone 70/2 on the Rangoon-Mandalay highway road about three miles west of the Pegu mountain range. We are trying to work out the time and cause of crash.”
This is the second Air Force helicopter crash this year. In April, a Bell-206 helicopter suffered a technical problem after taking off from Meikhtila Air Base and crashed into the Mondai reservoir.
The helicopter pilots, Major Win Aung and Major Khun Kyaw Hlaing, were rescued from the waters by nearby fishermen. They were sent to the hospital with minor injuries.