Two pilots killed after Army helicopter crash lands in Udhampur
Jammu: Two pilots were killed when an Army helicopter crash-landed in a dense forest near Patnitop in Udhampur district on Tuesday, officials said.
“Today, during a training sortie in Patnitop area, Indian Army’s Cheetah helicopter crash-landed in Shiv Garh Dhar area in the district,” a Jammu-based defence spokesman said.
He said that two pilots — Major Rohit Kumar, 35, and Major Anuj Rajput, 28 — were injured in the incident and evacuated to the nearest medical facility but they succumbed later.
Army Commander, Northern Command, Lt Gen Y K Joshi paid tributes to the slain officers.
“Army Commander, Northern Command, and all other ranks salute the bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty on 21 September 2021 at Patnitop and offer deepest condolences to their families,” the Army’s Northern Command said in a tweet.
Officials said the incident reportedly occurred between 10.30 am to 10.45 am when the chopper was caught in bad weather. The helicopter belonged to the Army Aviation Corps.
There was thick fog over Patnitop when the incident occurred, they said.
Local residents were the first to reach the site and they pulled out the pilots from the severely damaged helicopter, they added.
Police, along with the Army, rushed to the scene to join the rescue operation and evacuated the injured pilots to a hospital, the officials said.
Pertinently, today’s incident is the second in less than two months.
Earlier, on August 03, an ALH Dhruv helicopter of the Indian Army crashed into Ranjit Sagar Lake in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district. The Weapon System Integrated (WSI) helicopter had taken off from Pathankot (Punjab) and met with the accident during a routine sortie.
Capitan Jayant Joshi (27), co-pilot of the ill-fated Rudra attack chopper of the 254 Army Aviation Squadron of Mamun Cantt in Pathankot is still missing while the body of another pilot and Amritsar native Lt Col Abheet Singh Batth was recovered from the reservoir on August 15 lying a few meters away from the chopper wreckage.