The West Africa nation of Mali is currently going through a significant period of unrest – and France is the only foreign nation involved in the problem of Islamists invading the northern part of the country.
French special forces lost helicopter co-pilot Damien Boiteux after he was hit by shrapnel on the ground – while his Gazelle helicopter was being re-armed. This badly injured his leg, specifically the femoral artery in his thigh, and a tourniquet made by colleagues was insufficient to stem the blood flow.
Most media sources have assumed that this was a helicopter accident. However, no report carries photos of a damaged helicopter, nor do they mention the level of damage to the Gazelle – if any.
HeliHub.com has concluded that this event does not form part of “accidents in helicopter operations” and has not filed an entry in our extensive safety data pages. Suggested reference pages from the French press follow (links are to automatic English translations).
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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