Five killed as IAF chopper crashes during training in Arunachal
At least five are feared killed in an Air Force Mi-17 V5 chopper crash in Arunachal Pradesh during a training sortie. Two survived. The incident happened at 6am this morning near Chuna post. A court of inquiry has been ordered. In July, an IAF chopper had crashed in the state's Hostalam village, killing two. Just last week, a trainer aircraft crashed in Telangana's Keesara.
The IAF faces many difficulties in the upkeep of its lacking fleet, including hardships in procuring spare parts for planes and inordinate delays in finalizing defense contracts. Last December, over 280 helicopters were grounded for safety checks after a Cheetah chopper crashed in West Bengal, killing three officers and injuring another. India plans to add 400 warplanes to the IAF's current strength by 2030.
In Arunachal, unpredictable weather conditions pose more risks to helicopters. In March'11, then-CM Dorjee Khandu died when his chopper crashed in Tawang. In another accident soon after, 16 died. The chopper that crashed in July'17 was involved in rescue operations. Around the same time, Union minister Kiren Rijiju had a close shave as his helicopter was forced to 'emergency-land' due to poor visibility.