Friday, October 06, 2017

History of chopper crashes in Arunachal Pradesh: ‘Bad weather’ the usual culprit

New Delhi: Arunachal Pradesh is prone to chopper crashes, it seems, as Friday morning’s incident brings the total number of crashes up to five, with four of them having occurred in the Tawang region of the state, since 2010. Air Force officials have often blamed bad weather for the crashes, while a few others were accorded to technical snags.
The high statistic, however, paints a grim picture for aviation, both military as well as civil, in the northeastern state, which has even lost a chief minister to the same.
Here is a list of major chopper crashes in Arunachal Pradesh since 2010:
April 19, 2010: Crash kills 17 passengers and two crew members
Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force crashed close to Tawang at Bomdir on Friday, November 19, 2010, claiming the lives of 19 people aboard. The deceased, all of whom were IAF personnel, included a lieutenant Colonel.
Reports said that the chopper was on its way to Guwahati and had crashed shortly after takeoff from the Army Brigade Headquarters at 12:04 pm.
April 19 and 30, 2011: Helicopter carrying Arunachal Pradesh CM Dorjee Khandu crashes
Two crashes happened in a single month in 2011; The first killing 17 persons onboard and the second killing then Arunachal CM Dorjee Khandu.
On April 19, A Mi17 Pawan Hans chopper crashed while trying to land in Tawang. While 17 people died, including two children, five others, including two pilots, had a narrow escape, but ended up having serious burn injuries. One of the survivors, passenger, had succumbed to injuries after more than a month in the hospital.
The helicopter, which “exploded in a ball of fire”, according to some witnesses of the incident, crash-landed in a deep gorge.
August 12, 2015: Pawan Hans Helicopter crash kills 3
Eight Days after a search and rescue operation for a Pawan Hans helicopter went missing after taking off from Khonsa in Tirap district on August 4 in Arunachal Pradesh, bodies were discovered by commandos of the High Altitude Warfare School. The three occupants of the aircraft, including two pilots and a passenger were killed in the crash.
July 4, 2017: IAF chopper crash kills 3
A chopper of the IAF went missing after it was deployed for a search and rescue mission in area Sagalee of Papum Pare district after the road to Seppa was washed off by landslides triggered by heavy rains. Officials again blamed the crash on the inclement weather in the region.
06/10/17 Indian Express