Rotorcraft Update: U.S. corporate helo hit by ground fire

 - May 9, 2008, 7:02 AM

A helicopter owned and operated by U.S. oilfield developer Hunt Corp. made a forced landing at the airport in the Yemeni city of San’a after suffering damage from ground fire encountered shortly after takeoff. Medical workers at the airport said one passenger suffered bruises, but there were no other casualties. A Yemeni official told the Associated Press that the gunfire came from an area near the airport controlled by the Bani Hashish tribe. According to reports, no one aboard the helo was hit, and the minor injuries among the passengers were attributed to the rough landing. Long tolerant of Muslim extremists, Yemen is also the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden. It is in waters just off Yemen that the al Qaeda terror network conducted the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole that left 17 U.S. sailors dead. A subsequent attack on a French-flagged oil tanker just weeks ago in waters off Yemen killed a Bulgarian crewmember and released some 90,000 barrels of crude oil into the sea.