June 18, 2024

Details emerge of the helicopter that claimed Iran President Ebrahim Raisi and Kenya’s CDF Gen Ogolla

3 min read
Details emerge over the helicopter that claimed Iran President Ebrahim Raisi and Kenya's CDF Gen Ogolla

The helicopter that killed Kenya's CDF Gen Francis Ogolla was of the same make as that which claimed the life of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi

The helicopter that killed Kenya’s CDF Gen Francis Ogolla was of the same make as that which claimed the life of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi.

After a long search and rescue operations, news outlets in Iran on early Monday morning confirmed that the Head of State and his Foreign Minister had perished in a helicopter crash.

The chopper was involved in a ‘hard-landing’ incident and was part of a convoy of three helicopters, two of which reached their destinations successfully. 

The plane was flying over a mountainous region with heavy fog.

A report by Reuters later showed that Raisi and his team were traveling in a Bell 212 helicopter manufactured by BellFlight, a company that manufactured the Bell Huey II that claimed the life of former Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF) Ogolla.

Raisi’s helicopter was the civilian version of the Vietnam War-era UH-1N Twin Huey, the latter which was mostly manufactured for use in the military.

The Bell 212 was manufactured in the 1960s and was an upgrade to the original UH-1 Iroquois, one of which was used by Ogolla on the fateful day.

According to the report, the Bell 212, which was originally designed for the Canadian Military, was fitted with two turboshafts, a departure from the Bell UH-1 Iroquois that was designed in the 1950s which had only one engine.

The civilian version is loved by both civilians and government officials including those from first-world countries such as the United States and Canada.

The Bell 212 is adaptable to all conditions and can ferry people as well as dispense aerial firefighting gear and weapons among other uses.

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Gen Ogolla’s chopper that crashed in April was first designed between 1956 to 1987 and was mainly used by the United States Army, the Australian Army, and Japan Ground Self Defence Forces.

It gained prominence during the Vietnam War and a total of 16,000 were built ever since.

Just like the Bell 212, the Huey II can carry people and is designed to provide mechanical and electrical provisions in case of emergencies. Weapons can also be mounted on the plane.

The new versions of Bell Huey II combine commercial dynamic components to provide an increase in hover performance in hot conditions.

“So whether your mission is troop transport into high altitudes, medical evacuation in hot conditions, or VIP transport to and from remote bases, choose the Huey II,” read part of the aircraft’s profile on the company’s official website.

The Iranian military has 10 Bell 212 choppers while Bell Huey helicopters were handed to the Kenya Air Force in 2017 as part of the United States Embassy security cooperation programme in Africa.

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