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The chopper – a US-made light attack helicopter gunship MD 530F – is believed to have been carrying two people when the incident happened at about 10 am/COURTESY

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2 Air Force pilots die in light armed helicopter crash

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – Two military pilots died on Monday after a light attack helicopter they were flying crashed at Kithyoko, Masinga area within Machakos County.

The Air Force pilots were returning from a routine mission when they crashed.

The chopper – a US-made light attack helicopter gunship MD 530F – is believed to have been carrying two people when the incident happened at about 10 am.

The cause of the crash was not immediately established.

The chopper is among six US-made light attack helicopter gunships that the Kenya Army Aviation acquired in January.

They were part of an initial order of 12 light attack and reconnaissance helicopters meant to enhance the firepower of the Kenya Defence Forces in the wake of sustained attacks by Somali-based Al-Shabaab militants.

The helicopters were acquired from the United States through the US Foreign Military Sales programme.

U.S. Army Major General Michael Turello commanding general of the Combined Joint Task Force in the Horn of Africa oversaw the handing over ceremony on January 24 which was also attended by U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter.

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