Footage of a recent AH-64 Apache gunship crashing into the Gulf of Orfanos (off the coast of Thessaloniki, Greece) has recently surfaced, and it’s seriously crazy to watch. Speculation coming out of a number of Greek news outlets generally say that the Apache spun in after experiencing an engine failure which led to a loss of power. Thankfully, both the pilot and the gunner survived the ordeal and were quickly picked up and taken to a nearby military hospital for evaluations. From the video, however, it looks as though the cause of the accident could have actually occurred for a few other reasons, which I won’t hypothesize here until more information becomes available. The Apache involved was an AH-64DHA – essentially an AH-64D Longbow Apache; one of nine that the Hellenic (Greek) Army currently possesses.
In the video, at the very beginning, an Apache seems to skim the water moving towards the shore before pulling up sharply. The video zooms in and focuses on a second Apache before quickly panning back to the first gunship, now on the tail-end of its previous maneuver. With its nose pointed out to sea… well, more like down at the sea, the helo hangs in the air for just a second before entering a shallow nosedive. A few seconds later, it belly-flops into the water and flips over, ending its military flying career permanently. A short while later, one of the Apache’s aircrew signals to approaching rigid hull inflatable boats for his rescue.
The Apache was part of the Greek contingent participating in SARISA 2016, a military exercise featuring all three branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces as well as a small element of American special operations forces. The exercise was originally due to end on September 23rd, and the crash occurred on the 20th (Tuesday).