Zimbabwean AB412SP crashes near Harare

An Agusta-Bell 412SP utility helicopter belonging to the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) crashed into a house in the Hukuru area of Arkturus – 32km southeast of Harare – on April 23.

The incident occurred shortly after the helicopter, belonging to the AFZ’s 8 Squadron, had departed Manyame Air Base in Harare for a general handling training flight in the Seke-Domboshava Training Area.

Zimbabwean AB412SP [AFZ]
An Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) AB412SP, one of which crashed on April 23. In front of it is Anita Mapiye, the AFZ’s first female combat helicopter pilot. AFZ

The AB412SP crashed into a house, killing all three crew members (two pilots and one aircraft technician), as well as a child on the ground. A second child and her mother sustained severe burns due to the crash and were treated at the Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare. The helicopter was destroyed by an intense post-crash fire.

AirForces Intelligence data states that the AFZ now employs just five AB412SPs – all of which are operated by 8 Squadron at Manyame. The platform entered operational service with the air arm in 1983, with 14 being delivered in total. It is believed that four aircraft have been withdrawn from service and another example has been sold. Four AB412SPs have been lost to attrition during the type’s operational career with the AFZ.