Murphy's Law: The Bad Luck Of The Irish


October 1, 2008:  A paperwork problem has prevented Irish soldiers from using helicopters for anything but carrying cargo. Irish peacekeepers in Chad needed helicopters, and did what an increasing number of countries did, they rented two Russian made Mi-8s, with Ukrainian crews, via a British firm. The aircraft duly arrived in July and have served well, but only for carrying cargo and casualties (using the "emergency clause".) The problem is that the aircraft were leased as civilian aircraft, rather than as military. When Mi-8s are classified as military helicopters, which they were in Liberia, where Irish peacekeepers rode in them regularly, they are allowed to carry personnel. But because of the laws the Irish troops operate under, when Mi-8s are classified as civilian aircraft, they can only carry cargo. The Irish have been trying to clear up this bureaucratic obstacle, so far without success. The Irish troops, meanwhile, have to go by road, or beg a ride in someone else's choppers.


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