Rescue Helicopter Crashes into Longest Zipline in UAE

Four crew members were killed when the helicopter went down in rugged terrain in the northeast part of the country.

uae helicopter
A Leonardo AW139 operated by the UAE's National Search and Rescue Center crashed after it struck a zipline on Jebel Jais Mountain.UAE National Search and Rescue Center

A rescue helicopter crashed on Saturday after it collided with the world’s longest zipline in Ras al-Khaimah in the northeastern region of the United Arab Emirates, killing the four crew members on board.

Video showed the Leonardo AW139 spinning out of control before crashing in a fireball as the helicopter was flying a rescue mission at about 5:50 p.m. local time on Saturday near the UAE’s highest mountain of Jebel Jais.

The zipline spans a length of 1.74 miles long at an altitude of 5,512 feet msl. The summit of the mountain is 6,345 feet msl. It opened in February to allow the smaller emirate of Ras al-Khaimah to attract more tourists and residents from neighboring emirates like Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The helicopter was operated by the UAE’s National Search and Rescue Center. The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority said it is investigating.