Army helicopter sent distress call to ATC before crash in Arunachal: Sources
New Delhi, Oct 22 (PTI) Before it went down in the mountainous region of Migging in Arunachal Pradesh, the Army’s Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) sent a distress call to the air traffic control suggesting a technical failure, military sources said on Saturday.
Mortal remains of four personnel out of five on board the Weapon System Integrated (WSI) version of the indigenously-built helicopter were retrieved by rescue teams on Friday evening, hours after the aircraft crashed.
“Prior to the crash, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) received a May Day call suggesting a technical or mechanical failure,” said a source.
‘May Day’ call refers to distress signal conveyed to an aircraft crew to the ATC or ground staff.
“It is reported that the weather was good for flying operations. The pilots had more than 600 combined flying hours on ALH-WSI and over 1,800 service flying hours between them,” the source cited above said.
The helicopter was inducted into service in June 2015.
The Indian Army offered deepest condolences to the bereaved families.
The ALH (WSI), also known as Rudra Mark IV, is a potent attack helicopter, designed and developed by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to to fill very niche roles in the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.
The Indian Army’s aviation wing has been deploying the WSI variant of the Advanced Light Helicopter Rudra in the region, adding more teeth to its tactical missions in view of the lingering border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
The multi-role helicopter of 5.8 Ton class is an armed version of the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv. The indigenously-designed and developed ALH-Dhruv is a multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter.