Mi-17 V5 Chopper’s Tail Rotor Flew off, Causing Crash: IAF Chief

The crash of the Mi-17 V5 took place at around 6 am on 6 October when on a maintenance mission, an official said.

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Image used for representational purposes.

An Mi-17 V5 chopper of the Indian Air Force crashed near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, early on 6 October, killing seven personnel on board.

The Russian-manufactured Mi-17 V5 chopper had taken off from Khirmu and was on its way to Yangtse to drop off kerosene jerry cans at an Army camp of the 10 Madras Regiment, when it crashed.

The Indian Air Force has ordered a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of the chopper crash.

Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said on 8 October, two days after the crash, that the tail rotor of the helicopter that crashed in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday had flown off, and the reason for it will be determined in a Court of Inquiry.

Addressing a ceremony on the 85 Air Force Day, Dhanoa said:

It appears that the tail rotor had flown off; the cause of why it had flown off will be determined by the court of inquiry. It is not correct for me to speculate at this stage. Our losses during peacetime are a cause of concern and we are making concerted efforts to prevent accidents and preserve our assets. We have inducted state of art simulators for training the air crew.

The deceased have been identified as five Indian Air Force crew members and two Indian Army personnel. The Mi-17 V5 crashed at around 6 am when it was on a maintenance mission, an official said.

IAF identified the deceased personnel as Wing Commander Vikram Upadhyay, Squadron Leader S Tiwari, MWO A K Singh, Sergeant Gautam and Sergeant Satish Kumar. The two deceased from the Indian Army are Sepoy E Balaji and Sepoy H N Deka.

Previous Aircraft Crashes in Arunachal Pradesh

In May this year, two pilots of the Indian Air Force died after a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet crashed near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.

In 2015, a Pawan Hans helicopter, with three persons on board including Tirap Deputy Commissioner Kamlesh Joshi, crashed in a dense jungle in Arunachal Pradesh. Joshi was killed in the crash.

In 2011, then Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and four others died after their Pawan Hans chopper crashed at a remote location in the state.

(With PTI , IANS inputs)

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