Ivory Coast takes delivery of two Mi-8Ps

The Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) has taken delivery of a pair of second-hand Mil Mi-8P Hip medium-lift transport helicopters.

The aircraft – registrations TU-VHL and TU-VHN respectively – were delivered to the Force Aérienne de la Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast Air Force) in mid-March. The helicopters will be operated by the Groupe Aérien de Transport et de Liaison (Air Transport and Liaison Group), based at Abidjan-Port Bouët Airport, south of the city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast Mi-8P VH-VHL [Javier Rodríguez] #1
Mi-8P - registration TU-VHL - pictured here in the colours of the Ivory Coast Air Force, was one of two aircraft that passed through Palma de Mallorca on its delivery flight to the African nation. Javier Rodríguez

These Mi-8Ps are second-hand VIP transports, produced before 1993. The Ivory Coast’s Escadrille Présidentielle operated a single Mil Mi-17 Hip-H in the role until it was damaged following a collision with a Mil Mi-24D Hind-D attack helicopter (TU-VHR) of the Escadrille de Chasse on November 27 last year. While landing at Katiola Airport, the main rotor blades of the Hind struck the cockpit of parked Mi-17 TU-VHM, causing the Hind to crash and roll over, breaking into three sections. There were no fatalities but all four on board the Mi-24 were injured, and the aircraft was destroyed. The accident occurred at the beginning of a state visit by President Alassane Ouattara. The Mi-17 was placed in storage after the incident, with considerable damage to the starboard side of the cockpit.