Crashed NH90 Helicopter Recovered

Image: Damen Shiprepair Curaçao.

Willemstad – The NH90 helicopter that disappeared into the sea on July 19 in the Caribbean has been salvaged. The aircraft has been surfaced 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) uses 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 Defense helicopter technicians and civilian salvage specialists.

Crane and underwater robot

The breech was recovered first with a large crane from the salvage ship. That was about 450 meters deep, 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 was salvaged with a kind of large shovel that completely fit the wreckage. 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 collected and stored.

The recovery operation was carried out in the presence of an inspector from the IVD. In the crash, 2 crew members were killed.

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