Two pilots killed as Taliban military helicopter crashes
May 22, 2023
Kabul [Afghanistan], May 22: Two Afghan army pilots were killed on Sunday aftertheir helicopter crashed in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban Defence Ministry announced.
The incident occurred in the Khulm district of Samangan province at around 9am (0430 GMT) local time.
The MD-530 helicopter took off from Mazar-e-Sharif airport to conduct a patrol but hit a pylon and plmmeted to the ground, the ministry said in a statement.
Following the Taliban's return to power, several helicopters of the former Afghan army have crashed due to "technical problems."
The Taliban are trying to revive the Afghan Air Force (AAF) and have called upon the Afghan pilots who previously served in the Afghan army to return and serve their government.
When the previous Afghan government fell, dozens of Afghan Air Force aircraft were flown to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by US-trained Afghan pilots.
Before afghanistan's collapse, the AAF had 131 usable aircraft of a total of 162 aircraft in its inventory, according to a report by the US Special Inspector General for afghanistan Reconstruction.
The US watchdog reported in October that about 25% of the aircraft were flown to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Another 80 aircraft were rendered unusable at the Kabul International Airport prior to the final US departure.
Source: Qatar Tribune