Crashed NH90 Helicopter Recovered
(Source: Dutch Ministry of Defence; issued Sept. 09, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by
The ship Volantis that the Maritime Capacity Alliance used to salvage the Dutch Navy NH-90 helicopter that crashed in the Caribbean Sea on July 19. (Dutch MoD photo)
The NH90 helicopter that disappeared into the sea on July 19 in the Caribbean has been salvaged. The aircraft has been brought to the surface in 2 parts in recent days. The tailpiece and hull arrived this afternoon in the port of Curaçao and are now going to the Netherlands by ship. They will arrive there at the end of this month.

The Defense Security Inspectorate (IVD) will use the parts for further investigation into the cause of the crash.

The Maritime Capacity Alliance carried out the salvage with the help of the ship Volantis and an underwater robot. This civil-military team consisted of helicopter technicians from Defense and civil salvage specialists.

Crane and underwater robot

First, the breech was recovered with a large crane from the salvage vessel. That was about 450 meters depth about 12 kilometers off the coast of Aruba. The lifting cables were attached to the wreckage with the help of the underwater robot.

The initially floating hull was approximately 100 kilometers, in the waters of Venezuela at a depth of almost 1.5 kilometers. This part has been salvaged with a kind of large shovel into which the wreckage fits completely. This so-called 'cradle' of 17 x 15 meters has sunk to the bottom via the crane of the Volantis. The bottom of 'the shovel' is fitted with mesh. Any helicopter parts that had come loose could thus be caught and stored.

The recovery operation was carried out in the presence of an inspector from the IVD.

In the crash, two crew members were killed.


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