Indian Navy’s Chetak chopper crashes at INS Rajali, crew safe

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Oct 2, 2018, 1:04 am IST
Updated Oct 2, 2018, 1:04 am IST
The three crew members were rescued safe while the main and tail rotors of the chopper were damaged, an official said.
Chetak copter. (Representative purpose)
 Chetak copter. (Representative purpose)

Chennai: An Indian Navy Chetak CH 442 helicopter on a training sortie crash-landed at INS Rajali naval base at Arakkonam, about 70 km from here on Monday. The three crew members were rescued safe while the main and tail rotors of the chopper were damaged, an official said.

Sources said the crew had taken out the chopper for training in the morning and were carrying out a dry winching dual sortie—a manoeuvre to lower a trained personnel from the helicopter in water or on land—when the aircraft crash landed shortly after 9 am.

 

As soon as the incident occurred at about 9.04 am, “the station rescue team reached the site within minutes...the crew is safe and no other casualty has been reported,” a defence ministry release said, adding that it was a case of “hard-landing”, which was being investigated.

The Chetak helicopter is a two-ton class aircraft used for flying personnel and cargo, casualty evacuation, medical emergencies, search-and rescue operations, aerial survey and patrolling, besides offshore and under-slung operations.

The crash at Rajali comes only days after an IAF MiG 27 crashed near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Year-2018 has not been great for the defence flyers as IAF pilot Sanjai Chauhan of the Jamnagar IAF station lost his life when his Jaguar fighter jet crashed in Mundra taluk of Kutch district, Gujarat. He had received defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman when she visited the air base only a few months before the tragic mishap.

Within a week, another IAF Jaguar crashed near the Jamnagar airbase. The pilot ejected safely just before the crash. And in April, an IAF chopper crashed in Kedarnath after hitting the perimeter wall of the famous Kedarnath temple while on its way from Guptkashi to Kedarnath. Though the helicopter suffered extensive damage, the six people on board escaped unhurt.

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