An Indian Air Force Mi-17 medium-lift transport helicopter, with six people on board, made an emergency landing near Mukutang in Sikkim on Thursday due to bad weather.
The helicopter was on a routine air maintenance sortie from Chaten to Mukutang and it sustained damage in the incident. Out of the six people on board the helicopter, four were IAF aircrew and two were Indian Army personnel.
The Mi-17 and its crew were recovered safely in a joint operation conducted by the Indian Air Force and the Army, said an IAF statement on the incident. Two helicopters and an Army ground search party was launched for the rescue operation.
IAF’s helicopter on air maintenance mission carried out a precautionary landing in North Sikkim on 07 May 20.
The IAF aircraft & aircrew along with the #IndianArmy crew has been recovered safely, with prompt & joint operations by IAF & Indian Army.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) May 8, 2020
#IndianArmy and #IAF helicopters in tandem with troops on ground execute a daring rescue of stranded air crew from an altitude of 15500 ft in inclement weather in Sikkim.@adgpi @spokespersonMoD @IAF_MCC pic.twitter.com/nVqtQeUhco
— EasternCommand_IA (@easterncomd) May 8, 2020
An investigation has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident, according to an IAF spokesperson.
Mil Mi-17 (NATO reporting name: Hip) is a Russian helicopter in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude. It is known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service. It is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter. There are also armed gunship versions.
Developed from the basic Mi-8 airframe, the Mi-17 was fitted with the larger Klimov TV3-117MT engines, rotors, and transmission developed for the Mi-14, along with fuselage improvements for heavier loads.
Optional engines for “hot and high” conditions are the 1545 kW (2070 shp) Isotov TV3-117VM. Recent exports to China and Venezuela for use in high mountains have the new Klimov VK-2500 version of the Klimov TV3-117 engine with FADEC control.
More than 12,000 Mi-17/ Mi-8M variants are produced and are in operation in more than 60 countries.