MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian military helicopter on a test flight crashed near apartment buildings on the outskirts of Moscow on Tuesday, but both pilots survived and there was no damage on the ground, officials said.
The crashed Ka-52 helicopter gunship belongs to its developer, the Kamov company, and was undergoing tests as part of a program to develop a version for use on navy ships. It crashed on Kamov's helipad in southeastern Moscow just a few hundred meters (yards) from the apartment buildings.
Russian television showed burning debris of the helicopter behind a concrete fence. The Interfax news agency quoted a Kamov representative as saying the helicopter was preparing to land when it developed an uncontrollable twist, hit the ground and caught fire. One of the crewmen got out of the cockpit himself and the other one was quickly pulled out by rescuers.
The Ka-52 is a two-seat attack helicopter that was commissioned by the military in 2008. About 20 have been built so far, and the Defense Ministry has signed a contract for 140 more Ka-52s.