An RAF Griffin helicopter has burst into flames after landing on Snowdonia due to a technical problem.

All five people who were on board are understood to be well.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the helicopter “safely completed a precautionary landing in Snowdonia. Everyone on board exited safely, subsequently the aircraft caught fire.”

According to the Royal Air Force:

“In addition to pilot training, the Griffin is used for crewman training: a very important and integral part of multi-crew operations – especially useful for procedural instrument-flying training and practicing complex emergency-handling techniques.

The Griffin is also used in its HAR2 form by No 84 Squadron on SAR duties in Cyprus. With a cruising speed of 120kt (138mph) and an endurance of almost 3 hours, which makes it ideally suited for advanced helicopter training, the Griffin HT1 is ideally suited for Multi-Engine Advanced Rotary Wing training. The syllabus includes general-handling flying, underslungload carrying, night-vision goggle training, procedural instrument flying, formation flying, low-flying navigation and an introduction to tactical employment, including operations from confined areas.

Wreckage of the helicopter

Readily identifiable as the development of the famous “Huey” series of helicopters, the cabin is wide and flat topped, with a bulky engine installation in the centre of the cabin roof. The large, four-bladed rotor sits prominently above this. The cockpit retains the large glazed panels of the original, with the panels at the pilots feet also glazed, another feature held over from the earlier aircraft. The tail boom is long and tapering, ending in a swept fin that carries the tail rotor at the tip.

The UK now operates 10 Griffin helicopters.


    • So will the contractor get the bill for this? And I thought as much. Shame as with such a large helicopter fleet in all three services 10 old griffins and a few equally dated squirrels isn’t enough.

    • Harry you are talking rubbish. The risk of owning and managing the contracted (DHFS) fleet rests with the present contractor.(Cobham) unless there has been clear negligence on the part of the MoD personnel. DHFS had been operating very successfully with more than enough training aircraft since 1997. The new contractor (Airbus) takes over in 2018 with a new fleet of 135 and 145 aircraft. These AB412s at SARTU will be replaced by the 3 145s that are part of the new contract. This is a reduction from the present fleet of 5 412s at Valley as the annual training throughput has reduced considerably following the end of military SAR in the UK and the Falklands.


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