13 Ground forces militaries died, about one year ago, due to a collision between two helicopters in Mali. The accident was due to a tactical mistake.
Mission launched during the night
This accident was the result of mistake about the tactical situation on the ground. Mission began urgently during the night, because a team of Commando Parachute Group (GCP) of 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment was attacked on the ground, when they were hunting a High Value Target. 2 Helicopters Tiger and one Cougar with an IMEX (Immediate Extraction) Group from Mountain Commandos was sent by Barkhane operation Staff, with the mission of supporting GCP’s. There was no possibility to brief the team sent in support, due to the urgency.
Two helicopters, who arrived on fighting zone, collided. A light on the ground could have bothred night vision, but without effects on the accident. Families were informed on the conclusions of the inquiry at the end of June, by the director of the Accident Investigation Bureau for State Aviation Safety (BEA-E) on a French Ministry of Armed Forces site, in the South of France. The report of the inquiry will probably be disclosed on Internet during January 2021, about one month after French Minister for Armed Forces Florence Parly would have received the report.
Procedures were modified
Army Staff spokesman Colonel Fréderic Barbry- himself former helicopters pilot- indicated to Air & Cosmos the RETEX (« Feedback ») of the accident was taken into account , procedures and practices were modified. Army Staff had not yet received the report of the inquiry, and it will generate other recommandations, he concluded.
BEA-E recommandations are taken into account by army, and it permited to reduce the attrition of aircrafts, particularly in Armed Forces