Balloon contributed to fatal helicopter crash
THE “close proximity” of a surveillance balloon to a football pitch in Afghanistan on which a Royal Air Force helicopter crashed when trying to land contributed to the deaths of five people, a coroner has concluded.
Flight Lieutenants Alan Scott and Geraint “Roly” Roberts died after the Puma Mk 2 helicopter collided with the balloon’s tether and crashed near Nato’s Resolute Support mission headquarters in the Afghan capital Kabul on October 11 2015. They were among the five people killed, which included 44-year-old French-born security worker Gordon Emin and two US personnel. An inquest at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard the Puma aircraft, flying in formation behind another Puma, had to circle the helicopter landing site (HLS) because there were people playing football on it.oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said there had been a “loss of situation awareness”.