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Gen. Bipin Rawat (1958-2021)

Indian Air Force helicopter crash | Chopper is a trusted bird

December 08, 2021 11:02 pm | Updated 11:02 pm IST

A file photo of the Mi-17 V5 ZP-5164 helicopter.

A file photo of the Mi-17 V5 ZP-5164 helicopter.

The chopper that crashed is considered one of the most trusted and safest aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The helicopter, the Russian-made MI-17V-5, is widely used by the IAF for high-altitude operations and rescue missions, according to Defence sources.

As the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, where Gen. Rawat was scheduled to land, is situated in the Nilgiris, a hill district, the IAF chose the right aircraft for his journey from the Air Force Station at Sulur near Coimbatore, they said.

The crew that flew the chopper were “the best” consisting of a Wing Commander and a Squadron Leader.

“MI-17V-5 is a very reliable chopper when it comes to high-altitude flying. It is widely used for rescue operations in high-altitude areas like Uttarakhand,” said Wing Commander (retd) A. Satish Kumar, Director and CEO of Planet-X Aerospace Services Pvt Ltd, who has flying experience in the Nilgiris.

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