Indian Army Cheetah helicopter crashes, two pilots dead

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Aritra Banerjee
Aritra Banerjee
Aritra Banerjee is a Journalist with Indian Aerospace & Defence, Co-Author of the book 'The Indian Navy @75: Reminiscing the Voyage' and the Co-Founder of Mission Victory India (MVI), a new-age military reforms think-tank. He has been a columnist writing on defence and strategic affairs for national and international publications in both print and digital media.

On Tuesday, an army Cheetah helicopter crashed in the Patnitop area of Udhampur district in the Shivgarh Jungle above Nag Devta Mandir. Both the pilots succumbed to their injuries.

Two helicopters of the Army, which were on a sortie to Gulabgarh – Kishtwar area, while returning to Udhampur, experienced bad weather/fog around 1100 hrs on Tuesday near Patnitop, and one of them crash-landed in a civilian area of Shivgarh area. The other landed safely.

Two pilots were injured and were evacuated to the hospital, where they were declared dead.

As per the Northern Command of the Indian Army, the pilots’ names were Major Rohit Kumar and Major Anuj Rajput.

This is the second crash of the Army Aviation helicopter in the past 60 days. On 1 August, an ALH Rudra from the Indian Army Aviation Corp’s 254 Aviation Squadron crashed while carrying out a low-level sortie near Jammu and Kashmir’s Sagar Dam Lake.

The body of one of the pilots involved in the ALH Rudra crash has not yet been recovered. The family was reported to have expressed their sadness as mortal remains could not be located over a month after the crash.

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