An Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi-17V-5 helicopter crashed while trying to land near Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand at 0820 hours local time on Tuesday (April 3).
There were 8 people onboard the helicopter in total- a pilot, a co-pilot and six passengers. The IAF pilot suffered minor injuries, but none of them is in danger.
According to the reports, the helicopter caught fire after colliding with an iron girder while trying to land near Kedarnath temple. The fire was brought under control, though smoke continued to billow for some time from the engine compartment of the helicopter that came to rest on its side after the crash-landing.
The helicopter was reportedly ferrying construction material from Guptakashi to Kedarnath.
The IAF in an official statement said, “Today morning around 0810h one Mi-17 V5 helicopter of IAF crashed near Kedarnath. All persons on-board are safe. A Court of Inquiry will ascertain the cause of the accident.”
A Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been ordered to find out the cause of the accident.
In October last year, an Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force crashed near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, leading to the death of five IAF personnel, including the pilots.
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.
The Mi-17V-5 is the export version of the Mi-8MTV-5. They are powered by two Klimov TV3-117VM turboshaft engines and equipped with a loading ramp instead of the clam-shell doors, an additional door and a new “dolphin nose”.
These helicopters are intended for the transport of goods and machinery weighing up to 4 tons, and can be equipped with rocket-cannon armament. The helicopter can be operated in dark at low and extremely low altitudes, and can be landed on on unprepared sites. They are also equipped with modern communication systems.
First deliveries of the type to the Russian Air Force (VVS) took place in 2012. Russia currently receives improved Mi-8 MTV-5-1s.
More than 12,000 Mi-17/ Mi-8M variants are produced and are in operation in more than 60 countries.