18 Separate Helicopter Detachment helicopter crews landed directly on the crater of the active volcano in DR Congo

2019-04-18 15:16:13 | ID: 49170

Service personnel of the Ukrainian national contingent of UN Stabilization Mission in DR Congo are ready for the most unexpected tasks.

The Mi-8 crews of 18 Separate Helicopter Detachment once again worked out the task of the Mission to ensure the work of a group of volcanologists. Recently, scientists are very closely watching the volcano Nyamuragira (also known as Nyamulagira), which is considered the most active volcano in Africa. Only after 2000 year, the volcano woke up for six times. Experts are convinced that a detailed study of the volcano with regular tests and seismic analyzes will allow to predict the next eruption and to reduce the risk for the local population. The basis of Nyamuragira merges with another volcano — Nyiragongo, which locals call “fire valley”. The eruption of this volcano in 2002 destroyed more than 40 % of the city of Goma, located nearby. Due to the chemical composition, the lava of Nyiragongo is very luquid and as a result the speed of its flow is approximately 65-100 km/h. These two volcanoes share 40 % of all observed eruptions in Africa, making this “duo” extremely dangerous and one of the deadliest.

From the very morning, the crew under the command of the sniper pilot, Colonel Vitalii Tsapko, landed a group of volcanologists directly on the crater of the Nyamuragira Volcano, at the altitude of 3058 meters above sea level. After that the Ukrainian helicopter stayed in waiting mode at the airport in the city of Goma. For several hours, which required volcanologists, the weather conditions began to deteriorate sharply, the cloud cover around the volcano was denser. However, Ukrainian pilots chose the right moment and made their way through the “window” in the clouds, taking away the scientists and thus successfully fulfilling another non-standard task.

It should be noted that the Command of the MONUSCO regularly entrusts such tasks to our peacekeepers and Ukrainian pilots have the greatest experience performing complex and unconventional flight missions. As a result, when the troops of the Ukrainian national contingent are involved in the operation, our international partners are always confident that the work will be carried out accurately and qualitatively.

Assistant commander of the 18th separate helicopter detachment on communications with mass media, 1st Lieutenant Andrii Ostapiuk


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