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'Merkel's helicopter' almost crashed

21 march 2011, 10:57
A helicopter used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel came close to crashing last week when both engines failed just after she had disembarked, AFP quoted a government spokesman as saying.

The Super Puma 332, which reportedly only entered service in December, suffered double engine failure at an altitude of 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) on Wednesday in southern Germany, the spokesman said.

The pilots only managed to get the engines going again a few hundred meters from the ground as the helicopter plunged downwards.

The incident happened on a flight between Offenburg, where Merkel alighted to campaign for an upcoming local election, and Oberschleissheim near Munich.

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