German helicopter pilot dies in Belarus flight competition

Minsk/Moscow - A 74-year-old helicopter pilot from Germany died while attempting a so-called 'death loop' in a flight competition in Belarus, Belarussian civil defence officials said Sunday.

The pilot, from the town of Dinslaken in the Northern Westphalian region, crashed near Minsk while participating in the championships for the cup of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the newswire Belapan reported.

Experts believed his crash was due to human error but did not exclude possible health problems as the cause of the accident.

The pilot had been extremely experienced and a member of the national helicopter team for years.

The small MD 500 helicopter crashed several hundred metres away from the spectators. The accident prompted the audience to rush away from the site.

The accident was being investigated by the Belarussian military prosecutor, the report said.


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