Thursday, August 30, 2012

Two India - IAF - helicopters crash midair in Gujarat, 9 killed

Nine Indian Air Force personnel were killed on Thursday as two Mi-17 helicopters collided midair and crashed during a practice for a bombing mission at Sarmat range in Jamnagar at 12.05pm.

Two others on board the two helicopters were injured in the crash.

The Mi-17 helicopters are multi-role helicopters.

They are used for transportation of troops and also for bombing mission.

The villagers, who witnessed the accident, said the two choppers collided soon after take off and crashed near the village.

An IAF spokesperson in New Delhi said that a court of inquiry has been ordered to determine the reasons behind the crash.

The Air Force Station Jamnagar is a base for Dragon Squadron of Jaguars and First Supersonics of MiG 29s. Hence, it is not known if the M1-17 helicopters were from Jamnagar or some other station within the jurisdiction of the South Western Air Command.

The Air Force Station Jamnagar is an important base of the Indian Air Force and regularly carries out exercises with other wings of the Indian armed forces and also air forces of the other nations. In 2009 and 2011, it had carried out successful air exercises with Royal Air Force of Oman. Five years ago, an MiG-29 of Jamnagar Air Force station crashed into the Gulf of Kutch.

The pilot of the aircraft had experienced trouble at a height of 18000 feet and thus ejected safely.

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