Itanagar: Both the pilots were killed after an Army Aviation Cheetah helicopter crashed near Mandala Top under Dirang circle in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng district on Thursday, Defence sources said.
Search parties of Indian Army, SSB and ITBP, and state police were immediately launched after the incident.
“With regret we inform that the pilot and the co-pilot of the helicopter lost their lives in the accident,” Guwahati-based Defence PRO, Lt Col Mahendra Rawat said.
The deceased pilots have been identified as Lt Col VVB Reddy and Major Jayanth A.
The wreckage of the aircraft was found near Banglajaap village, east off Mandala.
“A Court of Inquiry is being ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” the Defence PRO said.
Earlier, the PRO had said that an Army Aviation Cheetah helicopter flying an operational sortie near Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh lost contact with the ATC at around 9.15 am on Thursday.
Arunachal Police PRO Rohit Rajbir Singh had said, the Army helicopter with two pilots on board had taken off from Senge village at 9 am and was en route to Missamari (in Assam) and lost contact midway and could not be located. At 12.30 pm information was received from villagers from Bangjalep under Dirang Police Station area that a crashed chopper has been located. Search and rescue teams of Army, SSB and police have already left for the spot. The area has no signal. Weather was extremely foggy with visibility of 5 mtrs, Singh said.