Azerbaijani Reporter Gets Way Too Close To Low Flying Hind Attack Helicopter

This reporter got more than she bargained for from a group of low-flying Hinds in an attempt to get the perfect shot.

byTyler Rogoway|
Mi-24 photo


There's a certain type of filming style that has come out of Russia in which a host or reporter covering a military topic is filmed with all types of action going on around them as they stoically deliver their copy. It has a hint of Top Gear and a hint of Michael Bay, but it is definitely a unique style. Apparently, this production method is popular in Azerbaijan, too. 

Certainly, we know the country has a flair for packaging its defense capabilities creatively on video, but in this case, the host may have gotten a bit more than she bargained for in an attempt to frame the perfect shot. Yet amazingly, she never flinched, even as a Hind attack helicopter gets too close for comfort as it rips by.

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Helicopters pack their own mini-hurricanes and that's especially true for powerful and heavy attack helicopters. Even one taxiing very close by can attempt to blow you over and they spray pebbles and debris in every direction. For instance, one time, an Apache taxied by just as I was crouching along a taxiway and a pebble broke the front protective element of a Canon 'L' lens on my camera. So you can imagine what it would do to an unprotected eye. 

But when a helo is flying very low and maneuvering you have rotors and a tail rotor quickly shifting angles to worry about, as well. One nick from either of those and you are probably done for. There's also an airframe that weighs many thousands of pounds and is packed full of gas and even high-explosives to contend with as well. With all of this in mind, this probably wasn't the safest video shoot, but the camera does lie a bit when it comes to distance due to depth of field compression, making things look a little closer than they actually were. Still, it was way too close.

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Azerbaijan has roughly a dozen and a half Mi-35Ms in active service. It is a modern export variant of the Mi-24 Hind and is capable of night attack operations. 24 of the type were ordered from Russia around 2010 with a number of them being rebuilt Mi-24s. A smaller number of less capable Mi-24s also serve in the country's air arm.

Although Azerbaijan's Mi-24/Mi-35 fleet, along with about a dozen Su-25 Frogfoots, are the most capable close air support platforms in the country's inventory, their Mi-17 Hip cadre that is roughly three times the size of the Hind force can also provide this functionality, albeit to a lesser degree. 

The video with the reporter was shot in conjunction with the country's 100th Anniversary of its armed forces, an occasion that was recently celebrated with a large military parade.

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