- Less than three weeks earlier, on October 5, an Army Cheetah helicopter crashed in a forward area near Tawang in the western part of Arunachal Pradesh, killing the pilot.
- In the past, two AN32s, a Sukhoi fighter plane, three Mi-17 helicopters, two ALHs, a Cheetah, and three Pawan Hans helicopters were all involved in accidents.
Two Army aviation pilots were killed when their Cheetah helicopter crashed in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng district on Thursday morning. They were on a mission.
This is the third Army helicopter crash in five months and the 13th air disaster in the mountainous frontier state in the past 15 years. These accidents have killed 93 military and civilian people, including the late Dorjee Khandu, who was the state’s former chief minister.
Arunachal Pradesh’s chief minister, Pema Khandu, wrote on Twitter, “I join the rest of the country in honouring Lt Col VVB Reddy and Maj Jayanth A for their ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty at Mandala, #Arunachal. My deepest condolences go out to the families of those who died. We will always remember what they did to help Maa Bharti. Om Shanti Jai Hind!”
When it hit “unfavourable weather,” the helicopter was flying from Missamari in Assam’s Sonitpur district to Tawang in Arunachal, which is close to the Chinese border. It broke down as it tried to go back to Missamari.
Lt. Col. Mahendra Rawat, a defence PRO in Guwahati, said that the helicopter was on a mission near Bomdila, Arunachal, when it lost contact with the ATC at 9:15 a.m. “Right away, five search teams from the Indian Army, SSB, and ITBP were sent out. The plane’s parts were found near the village of Banglajaap, which is east of Mandala.
We’re sorry to say that both the pilot and the co-pilot of the helicopter died in the crash. “A Court of Inquiry is going to be set up to find out what happened,” the PRO said.
Rohit Rajbir Singh, who is in charge of the Arunachal Pradesh Police Special Investigation Cell (SIC), said that the helicopter was found by villagers around 12:30 pm. He also said that there is no cell phone service in the area and that it is very foggy, with visibility as low as five metres.
Last year, on October 21, a Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) from Army aviation crashed in Upper Siang district, killing all five military personnel on board, including the pilots. Less than three weeks earlier, on October 5, an Army Cheetah helicopter crashed in a forward area near Tawang in the western part of Arunachal Pradesh, killing the pilot.
In the past, two AN32s, a Sukhoi fighter plane, three Mi-17 helicopters, two ALHs, a Cheetah, and three Pawan Hans helicopters were all involved in accidents.