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Monday, October 9, 2017

Five Military Personnel Including Pilot, Engineer, Others Dead as Air Force Helicopter Crashes

Five Military Personnel Including Pilot, Engineer, Others Dead as Air Force Helicopter Crashes

An Indian air force helicopter has crashed in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, killing five military personnel.

File photo
 A total of at least five military personnel were killed when an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crashed near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh this morning.

The Mi-17 V5 chopper was on an "air maintenance mission" at an altitude of 17,000 feet when it crashed around 6 am, according to the Air Force. The helicopter was carrying supplies to a forward post of the Indian Army in the mountainous region.

Another report said that the bodies of seven, including the pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer and two army officers, have been found at the crash site at Yangchi, 130 km from Tawang town and close to the border with China.

A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to establish what caused the crash. Sources say senior pilots were flying the chopper - one was a wing commander and the other, a squadron leader.

The Russian-made Mi-17 V5 chopper is the backbone of the Air Force.

Over 150 such helicopters are in service and 48 more have been requisitioned. The Mi-17 can carry a substantial payload to higher altitudes and has a very powerful engine.

The tragedy took place a day ahead of Air Force Day celebrations.

At a press conference yesterday to mark the occasion, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had spoken about a string of air crashes in recent years.

"Our losses in the peacetime are a cause of concern. We are making concerted efforts to minimise accidents and preserve our assets," the Air Chief said.

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