Russian Ka-52 Attack Helicopter’s Ludicrous Stunt Nearly Ends In Disaster

The Ka-52 gave onlookers at an Eastern Ukrainian reservoir a very up-close and personal show that nearly ended in calamity.

byOliver Parken, Tyler Rogoway|
KA52 low level ukraine near crash


Recent video footage shows a Russian Kamov Ka-52 "Alligator" attack helicopter performing an incredibly dangerous maneuver above a reservoir in Ukraine.

The original video was posted to the social media platform Telegram on May 30 by the user @ordamordorabot, and has since been circulating on Twitter.

In the video, two Ka-52s can be seen emerging from the distance. The first slowly descends to fly sideways in parallel with the water below. As the helicopter approaches the oncoming shoreline, it quickly maneuvers out of position to show off the type's signature sideways flying abilities. This was presumably because the pilots noticed the individuals standing on the shoreline and decided to put on a show. The Ka-52 then comes right up to the shore at just feet above the water before maneuvering violently, seemingly close to being out of control, with its tail almost impacting the water, before stabilizing and gaining altitude. As the second Ka-52 flies by at a higher altitude, its distinctive 'V' marking can be seen.

The incident was clearly dangerous for all involved, including those flying the helicopter.

Additional footage posted to Twitter by the user @GirkinGirkin appears to show a similar Ka-52 helicopter flying across what appears to be the same stretch of water on May 29. The accompanying caption indicates the helicopter was seen near the Ukrainian city of Alchevsk, Luhansk Oblast, which the original Telegram post also claimed.

Furthermore, the Twitter user @zolotoybaton claims to have confirmed the exact geo-location of the footage posted by @GirkinGirkin, suggesting the incident most likely took place somewhere on the banks of the Isakivs'ke Reservoir.

Alchevsk has been under separatist control for years, but the territory to the west is a war zone. The Ka-52 has served as the backbone of Russia's attack helicopter force in Ukraine since the invasion kicked off on February 24th. Many of these helicopters have been lost and they fly at very low altitudes in contested territory in order to evade Ukrainian MANPADS and more advanced surface-to-air missiles.

Still, what we see in the video is just showing off, there is no tactical justification for that dangerous maneuver.

Yet another video has surfaced from the same location of Ka-52s putting on an impromptu airshow complete with flare releases:

Contact the author: