Army’s Cheetah helicopter crashes close to border with China in AP, pilot killed

Source: DRDO

In a tragic incident, a Cheetah helicopter of the Indian Army crashed in Arunachal Pradesh, killing a pilot and injuring another, said the Army. The army aviation chopper crashed in a forward area near Tawang close to India’s border with China, at around 10 am.

The Cheetah helicopter was on a regular sortie with two pilots on board. Both of them were evacuated to the nearest military hospital, but Lt Col Saurabh Yadav, who was critically injured, died during treatment, said the Army. The co-pilot is under treatment. “The cause of the crash at this stage is not known. Details are being ascertained,” said an army statement.

Defense spokesperson Col AS Walia told PTI that the crash happened during a routine sortie in a forward area. “Cause of the crash was not immediately known,” he said. The two pilots on board were rescued from the crash site and taken to the hospital.

Pilot dead

Lt Col Saurabh Yadav received critical injuries during the crash. He was rushed to the nearest Army hospital but succumbed to the injuries, NDTV reported. The co-pilot, whose name is not known, is reportedly under treatment. “With regret, we inform that one of the pilots, Lt Col Saurabh Yadav, who was critically injured succumbed to the injuries during treatment,” the Army reportedly said.

Past incidents of chopper crash

The state has had a history of chopper crashes in recent years. It is said bad weather is one of the main reasons for such crashes in the state. According to Indian Express, over 40 people have lost their lives in six helicopter crashes in the Northeast state since 2010. They include former chief minister Dorjee Khandu.

In March this year, a  Cheetah helicopter crashed near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. A pilot had died in the incident.

Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat died along with his wife and 12 others after an Air Force Mi-17 V5 chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu in December 2021. Notably, Mr Rawat had survived a Cheetah helicopter crash in Nagaland in February 2015 who was then commanding the ‘3 Spear’ Corps.


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