SULAWESI, INDONESIA – An Indonesian Mil Mi-35 helicopter collided with a car during a failed takeoff on Monday January 6, 2020 in northern Sulawesi – Indonesia, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said. The head of the BNPB – Lieutenant General Doni Monardo – was on board the helicopter. There were no personal injuries.
At 11.50 AM local time, the Mil Mi-35P took off from one of the Sangihe Islands – a group of islands which constitute 2 regencies within the province of North Sulawesi in northern Indonesia – to fly to the island of Siau, about 30 miles southwest of the main island of Sangihe.
For some reason, the helicopter did not have the power to take off and it suddenly swooped backward, resulting in the tip of the left-wing of the helicopter colliding with a car and lifting the rear end of the car in the air. After the car dropped to the ground, the pilot then managed to control the Mi-35 to eventually land the helicopter safely at almost the same spot from where it took off, about a minute earlier.
Local media reported severe weather conditions at the moment of takeoff, which – in combination with the helicopter’s weight – could have caused the helicopter to almost crash. The heavy helicopter was slowly pushed back to the ground by the strong winds.
The large Hind Helicopters are very heavy and sometimes it even needs a short runway to take off.
Mil Mi-35 Hind-E
The Mil Mi-35 Hind-E is a Russian multi-role combat helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. The Mi-35 is – like the Mi-25 – an export variant of the well known Mil Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter, known for Rambo movies. The Soviet pilots’ nickname for the helicopter is the ‘flying tank’.
The Mi-35 is primarily designed for attack and military transport missions and offers a more superior flight performance and maneuvrability, compared to its predecessor, the Mi-24.
The production of the Mi-35 started in 2005. The helicopter has modern, high-precision weaponry for destroying ground-based armoured targets and to provide air support for ground missions. The Mi-35 is very versatile – it can be modified as an attack, ground assault, medical evacuation or transport platform.
The Mi-35 is one of the most modern Russian combat helicopters, also operated by the armed forces of Venezuela, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Mali and Indonesia.
The Indonesian Army is operating the Mi-35P, the export version of the Mi-24P, a gunship version with a fixed side-mounted 30mm GSh-30K twin-barrel cannon instead of a 12.7mm machine-gun.
The first Mi-35s were delivered to Indonesia in September 2003. In September 2007 Indonesia ordered an additional 3 Mi-35 helicopters, which were delivered in September 2010. Indonesia has a total of 8 Mi-35Ps in service.
The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management – BNPB (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana) – is the Indonesian board for natural disaster affairs, established in 2008 to replace the National Disaster Management Coordinating Board. BNPB is directly responsible to the President of Indonesia and the chairman is directly appointed by the President.
(Head image: Antara News)
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