DGT traffic helicopter crash in Andalucía happened as pilot was landing at a restaurant for lunch
112 incident

DGT traffic helicopter crash in Andalucía happened as pilot was landing at a restaurant for lunch

The preliminary findings of the air accident report have been released and revealed the aircraft attempted to land in an "unprepared area"

Europa Press


Friday, 25 August 2023


A General-Directorate for Traffic (DGT) helicopter that crashed on 11 August in Almeria province in Andalucía was attempting to land close to a restaurant in La Mojonera, which the pilot had called to book a table for lunch.

A preliminary report published on Spain's Ministry of Transport website stated that the landing was made in an "unprepared area" and that the dust cloud created by the movement of the helicopter's rotors caused the accident. "The two occupants were unharmed but the helicopter was destroyed," the document stated.

"The pilot decided to land for lunch next to a restaurant he had previously telephoned. During the landing in an unprepared area, the movement of the main rotor blades created a cloud of dust, causing the pilot to lose visual references with the terrain, which led to the impact of the tail rotor with a tree and the subsequent crash."

The preliminary report was drawn up by the Civil Aviation Accident and Incident Investigation Commission, an independent body, administratively attached to the Under-Secretariat of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

On the day of the accident sources from the 112 emergency service said that the accident occurred at around 12.40 pm, when a helicopter was reported crashing in the parking area of the Cortijo Blanco bar, near the A-7 and close to a petrol station.

At the time, the hypothesis of loss of control due to a gust of wind was considered. The helicopter, a Eurocopter AS355 model, which had taken off from Almeria airport, was destroyed. It had been mobilised for road surveillance and control tasks on the occasion of the Dreambeach Villaricos music festival held in Cuevas del Almanzora, some 120 kilometres away by road.

The report from the Ministry of Transport is preliminary, "subject to changes or corrections that may occur during the investigation". The department specifies that another technical report will contain the conclusions of the investigation.

Last March, another DGT pilot was arrested and taken to court for flying under the influence of cocaine and amphetamines when he crashed while making an emergency landing in the town of Robledo de Chavela in the region of Madrid.

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