Monday, March 12, 2018

Steady-handed pilot averts crash after Indian Coast Guard chopper's engine shuts off mid-air

The Indian Coast Guards Chetak helicopter was carrying out a sortie near Murud Janjira on Saturday when all of a sudden its engine stopped at an altitude of 400 feet over the sea.

The chopper, from its Mumbai base, was flying with four passengers, including deputy commandant Balwinder Singh, assistant commandant Penny Choudhary and two divers Sandeep and Baljeet.

With the chopper freezing over the sea at a very low altitude, pilot Balwinder Singh showed great courage and presence of mind which helped in not only saving the important national asset in the Chetak helicopter but also the precious lives of three fellow passengers in the chopper, a coast guard official said.

When the engine shut mid air, Balwinder used the rotors movement to glide the chopper towards the shore to prevent it from falling in the sea and prevent it from drowning in water, the official added.

Also read: Indian Coast Guard helicopter crash lands in Maharashtra's Raigad, pilot injured

The pilot tried to land the chopper on the sandy part of the beach but could not and the chopper landed on a rocky patch on Nadagram beach.

Officials said due to the pilots glided landing, the air frame and both the rotors of the chopper did not undergo much damage and can be used by the force after carrying out minor repairs such as oil leakage that has been detected from some part of it.

Officials said though the pilot joined the Coast Guard only around six years ago in December 2011, he is considered to be a veteran in flying choppers.
12/03/18 India Today