An Army’s AH-64E Apache attack helicopter crashed yesterday during a training mission, severely damaging several houses in Long-tang, Taoyuan; fortunately, two members of its crew suffered only minor injuries and a few civilians were shocked. Army has grounded its fleet of other seventeen Apaches pending further probe.
The crashed chopper, numbered 808, was one of the first advanced attack birds Taiwan military had commissioned last year. And 808 was the one that President Ma, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces had boarded at the commission ceremony. Needless to say, a pool of twisted analogies was then followed pointing Ma, who has been suffering from low-acceptance rate for some time, as a jinx.
Politics, however, should be scrapped in terms of military training. A number of media urged the military to put safety first for its personnel and civilians. However, the military aircraft operations are of a completely different notion from that of commercial aircraft. While safety is the top and only concern of every commercial airliner, the military, in order to gain victory in combat, instead puts the challenge of the capabilities of its aircraft to the limit as a priority. Therefore, operational losses becomes as a necessary evil. If the crew put the idea of safety first in their minds and dare not take any risks during training in peacetime, then in the future battle fields, they would be paying the price of their own lives in the face of deadly challenges posed by the enemy.