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Helicopter That Killed General Ogolla

The aircraft burst into flames shortly after taking off in Elgeyo Marakwet’s Keben area on Thursday, killing 10 of the 12 occupants on board.

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The military helicopter which claimed the lives of Kenya’s military Chief Francis Ogolla alongside nine others was one of the six Bell Huey II aircraft donated by the United States to Kenya in November 2016.

The aircraft burst into flames shortly after taking off in Elgeyo Marakwet’s Keben area on Thursday, killing 10 of the 12 occupants on board.

The Bell Huey II helicopters valued at $106 million (Sh14.16 billion) were handed over to the Kenya Air Force by the then American Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, as part of the arsenal to bolster the fight against terrorism.

The Bell Huey II is an upgraded version of Bell UH-1H medium-lift helicopter and is among the fleet of aircrafts operated by the Kenya Air Force.

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Apart from Kenya, the Bell Huey II is operated by the US Air Force, the Colombian Air Force,  the Philippine Air Force, the Yemeni Air Force, and the Ugandan military.

Here are some key facts about the aircraft:

The aircraft is manufactured by Bell Textron Aerospace company, a subsidiary of Textron and is headquartered at, Fort Worth, Texas, United States.

According to Bell, the Bell Huey II can accommodate up to 14 passengers in its cabin which the manufacturer says is also designed to accommodate mechanical and electrical provisions for mission-critical communications and life-saving devices.

The aerospace manufacturer further adds that the Bell Huey II has a 5,000 lbs / 2,268 kg cargo lifting capacity.

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The aircraft also features sliding doors, which the company says support in-flight operations with “strength and speed.”

“Increased engine power of 1,800 shp / 1,342 kW drives your mission forward fast, while the wide windscreen offers excellent visibility, “Bell says on its website.

According to Bell, the Bell Huey Huey II is designed for deployment on versatile missions.

With multiple crew positions, litter configurations, and avionics accommodations, Bell further indicates that the Bell Huey II is versatile enough for tasks as diverse as troop insertion, search and rescue, and the delivery of first responders.

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