Helpful truckers point the way
by DAVID CENCIOTTI
A Russian-made Mi-8 assault helicopter makes a surprise landing on a highway somewhere in Kazakhstan, blocking a tractor-trailer. A crew member gets out of the gunship and runs toward the truck.
He shakes the driver’s hand, and then starts pointing his arms animatedly in different directions before returning to his aircraft. Shortly thereafter, the helicopter takes off again, continuing its mission … as if nothing had happened.
This is not a joke. It’s the subject of a bizarre video that has spread across social media.
According to the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense, the rocket-armed helicopter was involved in a “planned visual orienteering exercise,” during which trainee pilots were supposed to determine their location “including by means of human survey.”
According to the statement, cited by the local media, the exercise was a “success.”
In other words, after getting lost in poor weather the crew asked for directions to the closest city. “The helicopter has now returned to the airfield where it is based,” the statement concludes, according to RT.
This is not the first time a helicopter had gotten lost in bad weather and been forced to land before continuing its mission. On Sept. 10, 2014, six U.S. Army helicopter—a mix of Chinooks and Black Hawks— landed on a field in Poland in foggy weather.
The American pilots received information leaflets on the municipality, in English, and departed again to their destination around two hours later, after the weather had improved.