Second chopper accident in 3 days

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Second chopper accident in 3 days

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A Navy Lynx helicopter during a maritime drill in 2007. [YONHAP]

The military has begun a safety inspection of its anti-submarine helicopters after a second unexplained chopper accident in one week, officials said yesterday.

A Lynx helicopter that made an emergency landing in waters off the west coast late Saturday has been lifted onto a ship for transport, and an investigation team has been sent to the scene, they said.

The chopper was forced to make an emergency landing 20.7 kilometers (12.9 miles) south of Socheong Island at around 10 p.m. Saturday on its way back to a Navy destroyer from a patrolling mission, the military said.

All three people aboard were rescued.

The emergency landing was the second accident this week involving a British-made Lynx helicopter, which were put into service in South Korea from 1991. Another crashed Thursday 14.5 kilometers off the southwest coast while on a routine patrol mission. One of the four people aboard was confirmed dead, while three others remained unaccounted for.

Officials said all but two choppers have been grounded for safety inspections.

South Korea has 25 Lynx helicopters for use in detecting enemy submarines and fishing boasts operating illegally in the South Korean waters. The two crafts involved in the accidents were put into operation in 1991.

With a full cruising speed of 234 kilometers per hour and flight duration of two hours and 50 minutes, the Lynx helicopters are equipped with torpedoes and electronic aviation equipment.


Yonhap
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한밤중 육안 착륙 실패? 조종사 수색작업 피로? 기체 결함, 정비 불량?


서해 소청도 앞바다에서 미확인 물체를 확인하고 귀환하던 해군 링스헬기가 17일 밤 바다에 불시착했다. 현모 소령 등 조종사 2명과 승무원 1명은 구조됐다. 해군은 18일 오전 7시30분쯤 천안함 인양 작업에 투입됐던 청해진함으로 부력을 유지하며 바다에 떠 있던 헬기를 인양했다.

군 관계자는 “전날 밤 미확인 물체를 확인하고 귀환하던 링스헬기가 모함인 왕건함(4500t급) 후미 의 착륙장 인근 바다에 불시착했다”며 “기체는 거의 온전한 상태이며 목포 해군 3함대로 이송 후 정비하면 정상적으로 가동할 수 있을 것”이라고 말했다. 미확인 물체는 새떼로 확인됐다고 군 당국은 밝혔다.
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