Fiery end: Jeddah copter crash kills 2

Jeddah Crash

Two people aboard a gyrocopter were killed Sunday when the small aircraft crashed in Jeddah, aviation authorities said.

“The gyrocopter crashed and caught fire near the runway at the Sama aviation club in Jeddah, killing two people on board,” authorities said, without, however, identifying the victims.

Gyrocopters, tiny rotor-powered aircraft with open cockpits, have grown in popularity among Saudis in recent years.

Authorities began investigating the crash and issued an advisory “to raise the safety level of aviation and limit accidents,” an official statement said, without giving further details.

Sources told Arab News that the plane’s pilot was Muhammad Al-Muhammadi, a Saudi teacher and an experienced aviator, while his colleague was an 18-year-old man.

It is believed that the accident occurred when the pilot lost consciousness and his colleague panicked and tampered with the plane’s systems.

“All gyrocopters at the club have been grounded to check their safety and technical systems,” the source said.

 
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