A Gabonese Army-operated Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) AS332M1 Super Puma crashed in the Minkébé National Park – located in Gabon’s Ogooué Ivindo province – on April 18.
The helicopter – serial TR-KCX (c/n 2481) – crashed at approximately 1300hrs (local time), while trying to conduct an emergency landing following an in-flight engine failure. There were 16 Gabonese Army personnel aboard the Super Puma when it crashed, comprising four crew members and 12 soldiers – all of which survived.
The incident has written-off the helicopter, which was carrying out a relief mission for soldiers operating in the area at the time of the crash. The platform had taken off from Lélé earlier in the day.
AirForces Intelligence data states that the Gabonese Army has operated a fleet of two AS332M1 Super Pumas since 2003. With this latest attrition, the fleet has now been reduced to just one aircraft. In Gabonese service, the AS332M1 is operated by the Groupement Hélicoptère (Helicopter Group) from Léon-Mba International Airport in the nation’s capital, Libreville.