Air Zermatt helicopter crashes in Swiss Alps

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Air Zermatt AS350 B3 Ecureuil © Hans Hillewaert, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15973071

An Air Zermatt H125 (Eurocopter AS350 B3) Écureuil helicopter registered HB-ZPB crashed on the Monte Rosa massif, but fortunately, none of the five people on board were injured.

The accident occurred during the aircraft’s approach to landing: it encountered a vortex on causing it to hit the ground hard and tip onto its side. The rotor blades touched the ground during the fall. The helicopter was damaged beyond repair and written off. It was carrying glaciologists and was en route to the Margherita hut, the highest refuge in Europe at an altitude of 4,500 metres.

The helicopter was used for commercial flights rather than rescue operations. The Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board is investigating the incident to determine the cause of the crash.

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