MOSCOW – Russia's Defense Ministry says that a military helicopter has crashed during a training mission, killing one of its three crew members.
It said the Mi-8 helicopter crashed near the village of Ivanovskoye in Saratov region on the Volga River in southwestern Russia on Tuesday. The ministry said an instructor and a trainee were injured after they managed to jump out of the helicopter before it hit the ground, but the flight engineer was killed.
Russia's Air Force chief, Lt.-Gen. Viktor Bondarev, ordered all Mi-8 helicopters grounded pending a crash probe.
The Mi-8 is a workhorse helicopter used by military and civilian operators in former Soviet states. Mi-8 crashes in the past often were blamed on poor maintenance and disregard for safety rules.