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British Army Apache attack helicopter mistakenly opens fire at Wattisham Flying Station

The incident took place after the Apache suffered a malfunction during a live firing training exercise and was forced to land at Sculthorpe training range in Norfolk.

The British Army is investigating after an Apache attack helicopter mistakenly opened fire at Wattisham Flying Station, in Suffolk, on Nov. 4, 2020.

The incident took place after the Apache 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 crew flew back to Wattisham where the helicopter was set to be repaired and the “negligent discharge” occurred.

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.

“We are aware of an incident at Wattisham Flying Station which is being investigated,” a British Army told Sky News adding that there were no reports of any injuries or damage.

Designed to hunt and destroy tanks, the Apache attack helicopter has significantly improved the British Army’s operational capability.

The Apache can operate in all weathers, day or night and detect, classify and prioritise up to 256 potential targets in a matter of seconds. It carries a mix of weapons including rockets, Hellfire missiles and a 30mm chain gun, as well as a state of the art fully integrated defensive aid suite.

In addition to the distinctive Longbow radar located above the rotor blades, this aircraft is equipped with a day TV system, thermal imaging sight and direct view optics.

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.

The collision risk was low “because each captain was visual with the other aircraft,” a report by the UK Airprox Board said.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. AH-64D “Longbow Apache” Serial No.99-5135, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Iraq, March 2003.

Photo credit: Staff Sergeant Mike Harvey/MOD

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