One killed in chopper crash during exercise
By Lee Tae-hoon
The Army said Wednesday that a helicopter pilot was killed and his co-pilot injured after a crash landing during the annual Hoguk military exercise in Wonju, Gangwon Province.
“A 500MD light attack helicopter made an emergency landing at around 2:30 p.m. in Buron, Wonju during the Hogul drill,” he said, noting that military investigators had yet to indentify the exact cause of the incident.
“The Army has issued a flight ban on all 500MDs.”
A warrant officer, identified as Hong, died shortly after being taken to a military hospital. The co-pilot, a Major Cho, suffered a broken leg without life-threatening wounds.
The official added that the crashed chopper was manufactured in 1988.
Korea is known to operate some 250 of the light helicopters with more than half of them manufactured more than 30 years ago.
The official said the exact cause of the clash had yet to be determined, but inspectors found that the tail section of the chopper had been damaged.
“The chopper was hovering as part of an air strike drill during the exercise,” an official said.
The Hoguk exercise started on Oct. 27 and is scheduled to end this Friday.
The joint military exercise involves all branches of the armed forces, including the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
In March last year, two pilots flying a 500MD were killed in a crash in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province.