MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. The Mil Mi-28N strike helicopter of the Russian Aerospace Forces crashed in Syria on Tuesday due to pilot error, preliminary data suggest, a sources in the Russian Aerospace Forces staff told TASS on Wednesday.
"According to preliminary data of the probe commission, the human factor is behind the Mi-28N helicopter crash in Syria," the source said.
According to him, "the commission is considering all the versions of the incident, including a technical malfunction," and the full picture of the air accident will become clear only after deciphering the helicopter’s flight recorders.
"The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were found at the site of the Russian Mi-28N helicopter crash in the area of Homs. Their condition allows retrieving data from them. The ‘black boxes’ of the Mi-28N helicopter have been sent to Moscow," the source said.
The helicopter’s wreckage had no signs of fire from the ground: the fragments’ examination revealed no shot holes. "The helicopter fell in an area controlled by the Syrian government troops. The aircraft carried a load of missile ammunition that exploded when it hit the ground," the source added.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported previously that a Mi-28N strike helicopter of the Russian Aerospace Forces crashed in Syria at 01:29, Moscow time on April 12, 2016. Two crewmembers of the helicopter were killed. According to the ministry, the helicopter did not come under fire.
The Mi28N helicopter gunships were used by the Russian military during the Palmyra city liberation operation. In particular, these rotorcraft used anti-tank guided missiles to destroy terrorists’ armored vehicles.
Mi-28N Night Hunter is a strike helicopter armed with a 30-mm cannon, guided missiles and free rockets. The Night Hunter can locate and destroy armored vehicles, personnel, small surface ships, and low-speed air targets and fortifications, as well as lay mine fields day or night in adverse weather conditions.