Civilian damage in Apache crash estimated at NT$2 mil.
By Chi-hao James Lo ,The China Post
April 28, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday estimated the damage caused by the Apache helicopter crash to be around NT$2 million, and has said that the ministry will absorb all costs for repairs to the four residential units.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache crashed onto the rooftops of a civilian community in the Longtan Township of Taoyuan County on Friday, April 25. The chopper, serial number 808, is reported to have crashed at 10:05 a.m. on top of adjoining buildings. The initial impact of the accident occurred when the vehicle collided into the iron-sheeted roof of a house. No military or civilian casualties were sustained.
Four housing units were reported to have suffered damage from the accident, including a family home, an ironworks, a pharmacy and a bakery. The Military responded to the incident by deploying up to 40 army personnel from the 601 Army Brigade in Taoyuan County to assist in relief.
In related news, local media cited MND sources as suggesting that the NT$790 million Apache will probably be scrapped as it has been too severely damaged in the accident.
Based originally at the 601 Brigade, the chopper crashed during a training exercise while being piloted by Major Chen Lung-chien (陳龍謙) and co-piloted by colonel Liu Ming-hui (劉銘輝), both of whom suffered minor injuries during the crash. In a press interview five hours after the accident, Chen cited heavy mist as an unforeseen factor during the flight. As a result of the low altitude, which the crew became aware of after regaining visibility, the pilots had no choice but to crash into the compound, Chen said. The MND has stated that neither pilot will receive punishment for the accident. The military has also stated that it will complete an investigation within 45 days, following the examination of the black box by tech-personnel from the United States.