An Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday. The chopper had taken off from the Sulur air base on its way to Wellington in Coimbatore.
Army helicopter crashes in Tamil Nadu- Timeline
Delhi Departure – Spl aircraft – Wednesday around 9am
9 persons including Gen Bipin Rawat and wife
Arrival AF Station Sulur – 11.35am
Departure to Willington by Helicopter – 11.45am
9 persons including Gen Bipin Rawat and wife+ 5 crew members- total: 14
Accident took place – Nanchapa Chatharam, Katteri area at 12.20pm
Distance between Arrival AF Station Sulur – Accident spot about 94km
Distance between accident spot – Wellington Army camp about 16km
Time to reach Wellington Army camp from accident spot is just 5 minutes
Out of 14, 11 people have been confirmed dead in the incident. Three persons have been rescued.
The soviet-designed Russian helicopter Mi-17V5 is designed to carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside its cargo cabin or on an external sling. It is capable of dropping tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance teams. It is equipped with modern avionics, the helicopter is capable of operating in any geographical and climatic conditions, day and night, along with adverse weather situations.
The Indian Air Force uses the helicopter to transport cargo and also to deploy troops in operational areas apart from rescue and relief missions across the country. The helicopter can carry a maximum load of 13,000 kilograms, flying at a maximum speed of 250 kilometres per hour.
The helicopter is capable of landing on unprepared sites at night and in limited adverse weather conditions.