On Sunday November 5th late in the evening local time a Saudi Arabian military Sikorsky S-70A-L1 (UH-60L) Desert Hawk helicopter carrying a senior Saudi prince and seven other officials crashed near the Reda Reserve close to the Saudi border with Yemen about 837 kilometers (520 miles) southwest of Riyadh. All eight people aboard the helicopter perished in the crash. Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province, was returning from an inspection tour of the area when the helicopter crashed. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined but an investigation is underway.
The Reda Reserve is located in the Sarawat Mountains about 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of Abha and roughly 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the Yemeni border. Although for more than two years Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally-recognized government in its war with the rebel Houthi movement, the Saudi government does not believe the crash is related to the Yemeni civil war. On Saturday the Saudis intercepted a missile fired by the rebels at Riyadh International Airport.
Saudi Arabia has recently been undergoing a massive corruption scandal. 14 Princes and 4 current Ministers were detained on Saturday November 4th. Like many similar events there are videos of helicopter crashes being touted as footage of the Prince’s helicopter crash. There’s even one making the rounds showing the Prince boarding a Desert Hawk followed by footage of a daylight Mi-28 Hind crash. Don’t be fooled- the Desert Hawk carrying the Prince and the others crashed at night.