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Woman helicopter pilot dies after battling for life for 17 days

One of India’s few woman helicopter pilots, Assistant Commandant Captain Penny Chaudhary, died on Tuesday night after battling for life for 17 days.

Chaudhary was injured when a helicopter, of which she was the co-pilot, crash-landed in Murud, Raigad district.

When the Chetak helicopter crashed in Murud on March 10, Chaudhary suffered serious head injury. She was admitted at the naval hospital INHS Asvini in south Mumbai’s Colaba area. After a surgery, she had been on life support.

A Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed her passing away. Coast Guard officials said Chaudhary had suffered internal bleeding and other injuries after the rotor of the helicopter struck her head.

The Coast Guard helicopter was on a routine sortie with four passengers — Deputy Commandant Balwinder Singh, Assistant Commandant Chaudhary, and two divers Sandeep and Baljeet –when it crash landed.

According to Coast Guard officials, when the helicopter’s engine shut down mid-air, the pilot tried to glide the machine towards the shore and tried to land it on the beach. It landed on a rocky patch on Nadagram beach, instead of the loose soil.

Capt Chaudhary was the first to get out of the crashed copter, but as she was emerging from the copter, the rotor blade hit her head. She was wearing a helmet, but that couldn’t prevent the serious injuries.


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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 2:47:50 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/woman-helicopter-pilot-dies-after-battling-for-life-for-17-days/article23370923.ece