Pilots of Army chopper made Mayday call to ATC before crash in Arunachal

Defence sources said that prior to the crash, the Air Traffic Control had received a Mayday call, suggesting a technical or mechanical failure.

Published: 23rd October 2022 07:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd October 2022 07:44 AM   |  A+A-

GUWAHATI:  A technical or mechanical failure is suspected to have led to the crash of the Army’s advanced light helicopter (ALH) in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh on Friday. The crash left all the five personnel on board dead.

Defence sources said that prior to the crash, the Air Traffic Control had received a Mayday call, suggesting a technical or mechanical failure. The sources said this would form the focus of the Court of Inquiry, which was ordered immediately after the incident.

“It is reported that the weather was good for flying operations. The pilots had more than 600 combined flying hours on ALH-WSI and more than  1,800 service flying hours between them. The aircraft was inducted into service in June 2015,” a defence statement said.

The helicopter had taken off from Likabali in Lower Siang district in the state and crashed near Migging, south of Tuting, at 10:43 am. The bodies of four personnel were retrieved on Friday while that of the fifth person was recovered on Saturday. The deceased were pilots Major Vikas Bhambhu and Major Mustafa Bohara, CFN Tech AVN (AEN) Aswin KV, Havildar (opr) Biresh Sinha and NK (opr) Rohitashva Kumar.

Joint teams of the Indian Army and the Air Force had located the crash site soon after the incident. The terrain at the crash site is extremely challenging, and is not connected by road. There are hills with steep gradients and thick jungle. Videos filmed by some locals of an adjoining village before and after the crash went viral on social media. In one of them, smoke is seen rising from a mountain. 

In another, the helicopter is seen hovering in the sky near the crash site. “The Indian Army offers deepest condolences and stands firmly with the bereaved families,” the defence ministry said in its statement.
This is the second incident of an Army helicopter crash in Arunachal Pradesh this month. On October 5, a Cheetah helicopter had crashed in a forward area near Tawang, killing one pilot and injuring another.

India Matters


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