RAF Puma Helicopter RAF Benson

RAF Puma Helicopters Damaged On The Ground At Oxfordshire Base

The damage is reported to have happened as the helicopters were being towed into the hangar.

RAF Puma Helicopter RAF Benson

Library image of Puma Helicopters based at RAF Benson (Picture: MOD).

It has been confirmed that two Puma helicopters have been involved in an incident on the ground at RAF Benson, resulting in damage to both of them.

An RAF spokesman said: "One aircraft has been repaired and is back in use, with the second expected to return to duty in the near future; there has been no impact on the Puma Force operational output. 

Pictures in The Mail on Sunday show one helicopter with a three-foot gash in its tail fin and the other with a severed rotor blade.

The paper says the damage happened as the helicopters were being towed into the hangar. 

The RAF spokesman said: "As the incident is the subject of an investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Puma on a cleared runway at RAF Benson
The Puma HC.Mk 2 medium support helicopter operates under Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) control.

The Puma HC.Mk 2 is used in a variety of combat roles, including the tactical movement of troops, weapons, ammunition and stores on the battlefield, as well as the extraction of casualties and in response to medical emergencies on the frontline.  

It is also employed during non-combatant evacuations, and humanitarian and disaster relief operations. 

The aircraft is capable of carrying 16 passengers, 12 fully equipped troops or up to 2 tonnes of freight, the latter moved as internal cargo or underslung, or a mix of the two.