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.
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.