Two pilots killed as Indian army chopper crashes in Bhutan
NEW DELHI, Sept 27, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – An Indian military helicopter on a training mission in Bhutan crashed Friday, killing two pilots, India’s army said.
The single-engine Cheetah helicopter was on its way from Khirmu in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh to Yongphulla in Bhutan.
One of the pilots who died was from the Indian Army while the other was from the Royal Bhutan Army.
“Ground search and rescue were launched immediately from Yongphulla. The wreckage has been located,” the Indian Army said in a statement.
Bhutanese pilots have been training with the Indian military since 2014 as a part of an arrangement between the two countries.
Cheetahs are vintage planes which have been in the Indian Army for decades despite their poor safety record.
In 2016, three Indian army officers were killed when the Cheetah crashed in West Bengal state.
Another three officers lost their lives in 2014 in a similar incident involving the Cheetah in northern Uttar Pradesh.
The choppers were built by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited after it signed a license agreement with French state-owned Aerospatiale in 1970.