Coast guard helicopter crash: ‘Pilot’s composure helped avoid a major accident’

The cyclic control of the Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) did not respond after it reached around 30-40ft above the ground on takeoff, the release said.

Published: 27th March 2023 08:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2023 08:58 AM   |  A+A-

ALH Dhruv Mark 3 helicopter of the Indian Coast Guard

An ALH Dhruv Mark 3 helicopter of the Indian Coast Guard crashed on Sunday. (Photo | @defencealerts Twitter)

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  The “presence of mind” and “exemplary professionalism” of the young trainee pilot of the Coast Guard helicopter that crashed on a runway at Kochi airport on Sunday helped avoid a major accident.
“The pilot with bare minimum controls, manoeuvred the aircraft away from the main runway to avoid blocking the international airport.

He thereafter, cushioned the landing to the extent possible to save the three souls on board,” an official release from the Coast Guard said.  The cyclic control of the Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) did not respond after it reached around 30-40ft above the ground on takeoff, the release said. Officials did not identify the pilot as an investigation is on.  

Residents relieved
We heard something crashing to the ground, said Manu V B, who stays near the runway. “I was at home and heard the sound of something crashing. Outside, I saw smoke rising from the runway,” he said. “The area has several homes, and we are relieved the chopper did not crash land into any of the residences or on the busy main runway,” said Varghese T, another local resident.

Manu and his friends rushed out to ascertain what had happened. They learned about the accident later from news channels. “Around 1pm, residents gathered near the road where the accident occurred. This is the first such incident here,” said Manu. 

“There is a Coast Guard training base in the area. There is also talk that the Coast Guard is planning to procure vacant land here to build a separate runway,” he added.

Operations at airport HALTED for two hours

3 flights diverted

  • IndiGo Airways flights from Bengaluru and Ahmedabad (domestic)
  • Oman Air flight from Muscat (international)

First flight landed
After the inspection, Air India aircraft 831 from Delhi landed at Kochi airport at 2:28pm



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