Indian Army helicopter crashes in Arunachal near China border, casualties fearedMarch 16, 2023
Bomdila, March 16
An Army aviation Cheetah helicopter crashed near Arunachal Pradesh’s Mandala, West of Bomdila during an operational sortie on Thursday.
According to reports, the helicopter lost contact with the ATC at around 9.15 AM on Thursday morning. The chopper with 2 pilots on board had taken off from Senge village in West Kameng district at 9 am on Thursday and was enroute to Missamari, Assam, with the estimated time of arrival being 09.45 am.
Reports said that the chopper lost contact midway. Police sources said at 12.30 pm, information was received from villagers of Bangjalep, in Dirang that a crashed chopper has been located in a burning state. The whereabouts of the pilots could not be known.
A search and rescue teams of army, SSB and police have left for the spot. Inclement weather is hampering the operations, sources said.
In October 2022, five Army personnel died in a helicopter crash of the Indian Army near Migging village in Arunachal Pradesh’s Upper Siang district, about 25 km from Tuting town. This was the second incident of an Army helicopter accident in the state this month. On October 5, an Indian Army pilot lost his life when a Cheetah helicopter crashed near Tawang area of Arunachal Pradesh.
Between March 2017 and December 2021, 31 people lost their lives in accidents involving 15 military helicopters that included four ALH, four Cheetah, two ALH (WSI), three Mi-17V5, an Mi-17 and a Chetak, according to official details.
The services presently operate a total of 187 Cheetah and 205 Chetak helicopters, which are often used to even service high-altitude areas like Siachen Glacier region. Both Cheetah and Chetak are light utility single-engine helicopters, most of which are as much as 40 years old.
According to reports, the helicopter lost contact with the ATC at around 9.15 AM on Thursday morning.