The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Monday refused to comment on the Dhruv crash that killed three people in southern Ecuador on February 21.
The news of the crash involving the Advanced Light Helicopter, the second such incident in that country, was announced by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa during an election rally.
“We are aware of the incident. Since the matter is being probed, we cannot make any comment now,” HAL chairman R K Tyagi told Express over phone from Delhi. Quoting a military spokesperson in Ecuador, news agencies reported that the HAL-built Dhruv was on a transit flight between Guayaquil and Quito, when the incident occurred in the Chimborazo area.
One of the deceased crew members has been identified as a presidential pilot.
The pilot who flew the chopper survived the crash with injuries. A probe is already on in Ecuador.
A Dhruv had crashed in Ecuador in 2009 during a military parade, threatening its export potential. To HAL’s relief, a subsequent probe found that the chopper crashed due to a pilot error.
Dhruv is being used extensively by all the three wings of the Armed Forces and has proved its mettle flying under extremely hostile conditions.