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GoPro Camera Catches Mid-Air Collision Between Helicopter and Plane over Alps

Mid-air collisions are rare. A study by the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA) a few years ago showed that, on average, there are less than two such occurrences per year.
Helicopter flying over the Alps just before the crash 1 photo
Photo: Euronews via Youtube
When they do occur, the consequences are dramatic for those involved. Just at the end of July, two Eurofighter jets operated by the German air slammed into each other over Germany, injuring one of the pilots and killing the other.

Back in January, a plane and a helicopter, both flying over the Italian Alps with tourists on board, crashed into each other at an altitude of 3,000 meters (9,800 ft). Seven people were killed in the incident.

This week, footage of this crash captured by one of the tourists surfaced. The local rescue police in the Aosta Valley made it public, saying the video was recorded on two GoPro cameras that somehow managed to survive and were buried in the snow until recently.

The footage is shot from inside the helicopter, and it shows the aircraft as it flies over the Rutor glacier. The footage ends abruptly with shaky images showing debris flying all over the place and getting mixed up with the tourists’ gear.

At normal speed, it’s impossible to tell what happened. When slowed down, the images show how the plane came from the left side, hitting the helicopter right in the rotor.

"The plane's undercarriage smashed into the main rotor of the helicopter," police rescue chief Delfino Viglione was quoted as saying by Euronews.

The seven people killed in the accident were four Germans, one Belgian, one Italian and one French.

Historically, the worst mid-air collision took place in 1996, when a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 smashed into a Kazakhstan Airlines Ilyushin Il-76 over the village of Charkhi Dadri in India. 349 people on board both planes died.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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