What u said was right in respect to older versions which needed 5 pilots to operate that...126 Helicopter Flight Operates 6 Mi 26 one was lost few months ago, 1 was written off during Ops Use. Most of the Time used to see them under preventative maintenance in 3BRD Chandigarh.
These Birds are pure Junk. Rationale Being -
1) 8 Rotor Blades produce so much of Lift that its IMPOSSIBLE to Land Mi26 Empty. IAF boys used to park a CFT if it were to fly with less than 8000 Kg.
2) Mi 26 needs 6-8 Hrs of service repair for each 1hr flight
3) In places like Leh, it can land but to lift was a issue specially during cold weather. This bird cannt handle High Turbulence for more than 1G deviation.
4) It consumes 4 times fuel for the same sortie done by a MI17. Remember for Daily BAU - I DONT need a 2 Ton machine.
5) Spare Parts have always been an issue with Russian.
6) Mi 26 Lacks ILS and has pure Manual landing not suitable when you are flying a 2T Hptr.
In cost to service life Ratio it is Negative. No Wonder this Bird was called as "Lala" by Hptr community
But the newer version had removed all ills, u had mentioned... It needs just 2 pilots, with radars, ILS, advanced software with less maintainance etc
Currently it is the best...