22-Aug-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
Finland is donating their last two Mi-8s to Hungary for use in crisis management duties, after the introduction of the NH90 has now made them surplus to requirements.Â The last pair, serialled HS-11 and HS-13, have been maintained airworthy at Utti Air Base with about two hours flown on each one every month.Â Both have several hundred flight hours left on their airframe before needing extensive work.Â The donation of the aircraft is part of Finland’s input to the Multinational Helicopter Initiative, which was itself started by France and the United Kingdom in 2008 to help overcome the shortage of helicopters in international crisis management operations.
Finland’s Defense Ministry said the Mi-8 helicopters, spare parts and other materials are being donated to Hungary free of charge. The costs incurred by transporting them, however, will be borne by Hungary, which will also be responsible for maintenance work carried out after the donation.
The Finish military and border guards had a total of 10 Mi-8 helicopters in use from 1973-2011, flying a total of just over 40,600 hours
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com