A pilot died after an army helicopter Cheetah on a routine ramble in the forward area near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh crashed on October 5 around 10 am in the morning. According to the Army officials, the cause of the crash at this stage is unknown and the details are being worked on.
According to the sources, the Cheetah helicopter was on a regular ramble with two aviators on board. Both of them were evacuated to the nearest military hospital. However, Lt Col Saurabh Yadav, who was critically injured and later succumbed to the injuries during the treatment. The co-pilot is under treatment.
Sources further revealed that this line is the lifeline for transporting inventories and for evacuations in the high-altitude areas, including the Siachen glacier. In addition to the Army, the Navy and IAF also operate these helicopters. Whereas, the IAF has around 120 Cheetah and Chetak and around 18 of the more recent Cheetals.
Note : The Army Aviation presently operates around 190 Cheetah, Chetak, and Cheetal copters, with five of them, the oldest, being over 50 years old. The bulk of the line, close to 130 of the 190, are between 30 and 50 years old.