Russian military helicopter crashes during air show, 1 dead

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Moscow — A Russian military helicopter crashed Sunday during an aerobatic display, killing one of its crewmembers and injuring another, the Defense Ministry said.

The Mi-28 helicopter gunship was part of a flight of helicopters performing aerobatics at the Dubrovichi firing range in Ryazan region, about 170 kilometers (105 miles) southeast of Moscow, when it crashed Sunday. The Defense Ministry said the second pilot who survived the crash was in satisfactory condition.

There was no damage on the ground, and the Defense Ministry emphasized that the flights were conducted at a safe distance from the crowd and there was no danger for those who watched the air show.

A Russian military helicopter burns after crashing during an aerobatic display in Dubrovichi, Russia, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015 , killing one of its crew members and injuring another. The Mi-28 helicopter gunship was part of a flight of helicopters performing aerobatics at the Dubrovichi firing range in Ryazan region, about 170 kilometers (105 miles) southeast of Moscow, when it crashed Sunday. (Anton Nasonov, RZN.info/Photo via AP)A Russian military helicopter burns after crashing during an aerobatic display in Dubrovichi, Russia, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015 , killing one of its crew members and injuring another. The Mi-28 helicopter gunship was part of a flight of helicopters performing aerobatics at the Dubrovichi firing range in Ryazan region, about 170 kilometers (105 miles) southeast of Moscow, when it crashed Sunday. (Anton Nasonov, RZN.info/Photo via AP)

The footage broadcast by Russian television showed four gunships performing stunts and firing flares. One helicopter is then seen spinning down fast before it hit the ground and exploded.

The pilot who survived the crash said it was caused by the failure of the helicopter’s hydraulic system.

Russian air force chief Viktor Bondarev ordered the grounding of the military’s Mi-28 fleet pending an investigation.

The Mi-28 is a two-seat attack helicopter replacing older Soviet-built gunships in the Russian inventory. It has been sold to Iraq and Kenya, among others countries.

Sunday’s aerobatics show was part of the International Army Games, competitions involving troops from Russia and several other nations at shooting ranges across Russia that began Saturday.

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