Australia says no chance of four soldiers surviving crash as it grounds MRH-90 helicopter fleet

There may be no chance of four lacking crew members surviving the military helicopter crash, Australia’s defence ministry stated on Monday as rescue efforts modified to restoration.

Defence minster Richard Marles stated there was no chance that capt Danniel Lyon, Lt Maxwell Nugent, warrant officer Joseph Laycock or Cpl Alexander Naggs had survived.

“There was a catastrophic incident and with each passing hour, it is now clear that any hope of discovering (the four crew) alive has been misplaced,” Mr Marles informed reporters.

The Australian military MRH-90 helicopter crashed into waters off the Whitsunday Islands on the Nice Barrier Reef shortly after 10.30pm on Friday throughout a nighttime train with the US.

“Important” wreckage from the helicopter has been found that exhibits proof of a “catastrophic incident”, Mr Marles, stated, including that the mission is now one of “restoration”.

Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese informed parliament: “Our worst fears have been confirmed.”

He beforehand described the current crash as a stark reminder “that there are no secure or simple days for many who serve in our nation’s title”.

“There shall be a full investigation and we’ll come to grasp precisely what occurred and study the teachings from it,” Mr Marles added.

The defence minister earlier stated the helicopter “ditched” however on Monday he didn’t rule out pilot error or disorientation at nighttime inflicting the crash into the water.

Half of the airframe was retrieved by Monday however most of the craft remained on the seabed, authorities stated.

An Australian Military MRH-90 Taipan helicopter conducting flying serials


Following the crash, the ministry grounded its fleet of greater than 40 of the MRH-90 Taipan helicopters, made by French Airbus, elevating doubts if any will fly once more.

“There was a catastrophic affect on the helicopter when it hit the water,” Mr Marles stated.

“We’ll transfer via the method of placing the Black Hawks into service as rapidly as we are able to … and we is not going to be flying MRH90s till we perceive what has occurred,” he added.

Canberra introduced in January that it plans to switch the MRH-90 with US Black Hawks. Your complete fleet was beforehand grounded in March after a helicopter ditched in waters off the state of New South Wales throughout a routine coaching train.

The retirement date of the fleet set for December 2024 could be 13 years sooner than Australia had initially deliberate.

The misplaced Taipan was collaborating within the biennial US-Australian army train referred to as the Talisman Sabre, which is basically based mostly in Queensland state. This yr’s train includes 13 nations and greater than 30,000 army personnel.

The train was paused after the rescue operations started however resumed on Monday with some adjustments close to the restoration operation, Australian defence power chief Gen Angus Campbell stated.

He thanked the US and Canada for his or her assist in the search and restoration efforts, which he stated was “not a straightforward operation”. The wreckage lay within the path of robust currents and tidal actions and was too deep for normal diving operations.

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