An army helicopter crashed in northern Germany on Monday, killing the pilot, defence officials said, in the second fatal crash in a week for a military plagued with equipment problems.

The aircraft hit the ground in Aerzen, near Hamelin in northwest Germany, at around 1:45 pm (1145 GMT). The reason for the crash is not yet known.

Firefighters rushed to the scene of the crash, which caused multiple blazes in a nearby forested area.

The impact site is around 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the Bundeswehr (German army) helicopter training centre in Bueckeburg.

The pilot was killed and one person injured, a defence ministry spokesman told AFP.

Just a week ago two Eurofighter jets crashed in northeastern Germany after colliding in mid-air, with one pilot killed while a second ejected to safety.

The military recovered both planes' black boxes and was investigating the cause of the crash, while some politicians called for a ban on training missions over populated areas.

Germany has in recent years suffered a string of problems with military equipment, with only fractions of its fleets of tanks, ships and aircraft combat-ready at any time.

The problems have persisted despite multiple increases in the defence ministry's budget, although spending remains below the NATO goal of two percent of GDP.