Second deadly crash of German army helicopter in a week

The site where an army helicopter crashed in Aerzen, Germany, on July 1, 2019.
The site where an army helicopter crashed in Aerzen, Germany, on July 1, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

FRANKFURT (AFP) - An army helicopter crashed in northern Germany on Monday (July 1), killing the pilot, defence officials said, in the second fatal crash in a week for a military plagued with equipment problems.

The aircraft hit the ground in Aerzen, near Hamelin in northwest Germany, at around 1.45pm (7.45pm Singapore time). The reason for the crash is not yet known.

Firefighters rushed to the scene of the crash, which caused multiple blazes in a nearby forested area.

The impact site is around 30km from the Bundeswehr (German army) helicopter training centre in Bueckeburg.

The pilot was killed and one person injured, a defence ministry spokesman told AFP.

Just a week ago two Eurofighter jets crashed in northeastern Germany after colliding in mid-air, with one pilot killed while a second ejected to safety.

The military recovered both planes' black boxes and was investigating the cause of the crash, while some politicians called for a ban on training missions over populated areas.

Germany has in recent years suffered a string of problems with military equipment, with only fractions of its fleets of tanks, ships and aircraft combat-ready at any time.

The problems have persisted despite multiple increases in the defence ministry's budget, although spending remains below the Nato goal of two per cent of GDP.