07 Nov Apache attack helicopter mistakenly opens fire at Suffolk army base | UK News
The army is investigating after an Apache attack helicopter mistakenly opened fire at a military base in Suffolk.
The helicopter fired a round as it was being wheeled out of a hangar at Wattisham Flying Station on Wednesday.
The incident happened after the helicopter suffered a malfunction during a live firing training exercise and was forced to land at Sculthorpe training range in Norfolk, according to The Sun.
The pilots flew back to their base at Wattisham, Suffolk, where the helicopter was set to be repaired and the “negligent discharge” occurred, the newspaper said.
The helicopter was being wheeled out of a hangar – where it had been kept overnight – when it let off a stray practice round, which is yet to be found.
An army spokeswoman told Sky News there were no reports of any injuries or damage.
“We are aware of an incident at Wattisham Flying Station which is being investigated,” the spokeswoman said.
The Apache attack helicopter, flown by the Army Air Corps, is armed with a 30mm automatic cannon, wing-mounted 70mm rockets and Hellfire missiles, according to the Ministry of Defence website.
The twin-engine, four-blade helicopter is designed for missions during the day or night and in conditions ranging from desert heat to arctic cold.
In May, an Apache helicopter was involved in a near miss with an air ambulance as it took off from Wattisham.
The Apache reported that the air ambulance passed about 150ft (45m) above it, and the two aircraft were travelling at more than 100mph when the incident happened.
A report by the UK Airprox Board deemed the collision risk was low “because each captain was visual with the other aircraft“.