Army Helicopter Cheetah Crashes In Arunachal Pradesh, Search Operation Underway

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An Indian Army Cheetah Helicopter crashed near Mandala, Arunachal Pradesh, today. The helicopter was performing an operational sortie near Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh, when it was reported to have lost contact with the air traffic control (ATC) at around 09:15 AM on 16 March 23. Search parties have been organied, and operations are underway to look for the crew in the helicopter.

“An Army Aviation Cheetah helicopter flying an operational sortie near Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh, was reported to have lost contact with the ATC at around 09:15am today. It is reported to have crashed near Mandala, West of Bomdila. Search parties have been launched,” said, Lt Col Mahendra Rawat, PRO Defence Guwahati

Based on the preliminary reports, two pilots were onboard the Cheetah helicopter. Teams of Army, SSB, and police have left for the crash site. Furthermore, the weather in the area is reported to be foggy with low visibility of up to 5 meters.

The helicopter involved in the crash is reported to be a Cheetah Helicopter, which is one of the old choppers in the Army’s and IAF’s fleet. The aging fleet of the aforementioned helicopters will be replaced by the indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopters (LUH). These new-generation helicopters will be incorporated in the three-tonne category and will be loaded with advanced features.

It is to be noted that Arunachal Pradesh is considered one of the most unfavourable places for aircraft operations. Furthermore, the North-Eastern state has witnessed multiple aircraft crashes in the past. In October 2022, an Indian Army’s ALH helicopter crashed in Arunachal Pradesh’s Migging, killing five personnel onboard, including two pilots.

This is a developing story, more details awaited.

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