Some wild video has recently surfaced from Russia (of course), showing a pair of Ka-52 attack helicopters approaching a crowd of onlookers, before one accidentally fires missiles directly at them.
In reports published by Russian media this week, the helos were participating in “Zapad 2017” war games, and were conducting a training exercise at a firing range near St Petersburg, when the misfire occurred.
Above, watch video from both the ground and cockpit of the accident as it happened.
It’s an unclear just how many rockets were fired, or who the crowd fired upon was, but the Russian Defense Ministry, in comments to Russian media, confirmed several people were injured and a couple vehicles burned and destroyed, but denied reports claiming any were civilians.
No deaths have been reported.
Russian newspaper The Kommersant has reported the helicopter’s weapon control system malfunctioned; its unguided rocket fired without the pilot’s command, and was fired immediately after the pilot turned off the safety switch.
The paper also claims it was the third aviation accident in a week. A supersonic long-range bomber skidded off the runway on Sep 14 (the day the Zapad 2017 drills kicked off), and a training aircraft crashed two days later.