Update on Afghanistan helicopter incident
1 June 2011
Defence has been able to rule out insurgent ground fire as a possible cause for the CH-47D Chinook crash in southern Afghanistan yesterday which killed Lieutenant Marcus Case and wounded five Army Aviation aircrew.
A review of known facts by ADF personnel in Afghanistan today has concluded that there was no evidence of insurgent activity in the vicinity of the incident site or on the immediate flight path before the crash.
Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Ash Power said that several key questions were still to be answered but he was confident insurgent action could be ruled out as a possible cause for the helicopter impacting with the ground.
“While we are yet to understand exactly what led to the incident, I am comfortable that the available evidence precludes insurgent small arms fire or rocket attack as a contributing factor,” Lieutenant General Power said.
“Today’s review of events closely correlates with the observations of aircrew in the trail aircraft who did not see any insurgent activity at the time of the incident.”
The five crew members who survived the incident have been medically assessed as being in a satisfactory condition and have been released from hospital.
The Australian Defence Force will conduct an air safety investigation into the incident.