Arunachal helicopter crash: The Air Traffic Control (ATC) had received a 'May Day' call suggesting a technical or mechanical failure, just prior to the chopper crash in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, that killed five people defence spokesperson Lt Col A S Walia said. The advanced light helicopter (ALH), carrying five Army personnel including two pilots, was on regular sorties when it crashed at 10.43 am on Friday near Migging, around 25 km south of Tuting.
The Army, however, asserted that the weather was good for flying operations. adding that the 'May Day' call report will form the focus of the Court of Inquiry. "It is reported that the weather was good for flying operations. The pilots had more than 600 combined flying hours on ALH-WSI and over 1,800 service flying hours between them. The aircraft was inducted into service in June 2015. This will form the focus of the Court of Inquiry, which has been immediately constituted to investigate the causes of the accident," he added.
The bodies of four Army personnel were recovered on Friday evening from the crash site in a densely wooded mountainous area, around 35 km from the border with China, he said.
The Army helicopter, also known as HAL Rudra, had taken off from Likabali in Lower Siang district. The HAL Rudra is an attack helicopter manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Army. It is a weapon system integrated (WSI) Mk-IV variant of the Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) and is the first armed helicopter produced indigenously in India.