Ministry of Internal Affairs has provided information about the incident involving an “MI-8” helicopter of the Border Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The border police helicopter was in an accident on “Mkinvartsveri” near the meteorological station, while providing assistance to Polish rescuers.
“The incident was caused by the wind’s fast, unexpected movement and descending masses.
As a result of the change in the descending air masses, the front chassis of the helicopter touched the ground, causing the helicopter to spin out of control; however, the experienced and professional pilots managed to stabilize the aircraft, made a second circle, flew from the glacier in the direction of Tbilisi and landed safely at the base of the Special Purpose Aviation Department of the Border Police,” reads the statement.
For the record, in July 2022, a helicopter of the same type – a Soviet-designed “MI-8” – belonging to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Border Police – lost control and crashed during the rescue operation of paragliders who fell in Gudauri. All eight people on board died. An investigation into the tragic accident is still underway. According to a police report, a tail rotor failure might have caused the crash. The accident also reignited a broader discussion about the safety of the paragliding business, which remained largely unregulated at the time of the disaster, and the ability of the Interior Ministry to handle similar incidents with the available equipment and transports.