Condition of officer struck by rotor blade has improved stabilized


TAIPEI–A Navy pilot who was struck on the head by a helicopter rotor blade earlier this month is now in stable condition following brain surgery at a hospital in southern Taiwan, the Navy Fleet Command said Sunday.

The lieutenant commander pilot, surnamed Wei, is now conscious and his vital signs are stable, the Navy said.

Wei underwent brain surgery Dec. 2 at the Zuoying Branch of Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, where he was rushed after he was accidentally struck on the head on by the rotor blade of an anti-submarine helicopter at a naval base in the southern city.

He has now been transferred to a regular ward at the hospital and his life in not in danger, the Navy said.

On the day of the accident, Wei was preparing to take off on training mission in a 500MD/ASW Defender aircraft when a warning signal for an engine problem appeared.

He left the cockpit and went to the back of the helicopter to assist the technical staff but apparently got too close to the rotor blades and was struck on the head.

According to the Navy’s preliminary findings in its ongoing investigation, Wei did not observe standard operating procedures when he went to assist the technical crew.