In the first crash involving a Naval aircraft this year,a Chetak helicopter went down while landing at the Goa Naval airfield on Monday morning,killing all three personnel on board. The chopper,which was on its way to Bangalore for a maintenance round,is suspected to have crashed due to a technical fault.
The accident,which claimed the lives of the pilot,Lt Commander D Singh,co-pilot Lt Rahul Tiwari and chief artificer Harish Krishnan,took place when the ageing helicopter was landing for a scheduled refuelling stop at the Goa base and appeared to suffer a mechanical fault.
All three personnel on board have died in the crash. A board of inquiry to ascertain the cause has been ordered, a Navy spokesperson said,adding that the helicopter was on its way to Bangalore from its base in Mumbai.
Chief artificer Krishnan,who hailed from Harippad in Keralas Alappuzha district,was due to be discharged in January. He had applied for discharge and all the paper work had been completed when the crash took place.
Krishnan,32,whose wife is a law graduate,had been planning post-retirement jobs and had applied for several government postings,said sources close to him. He was looking forward to settling down in Kerala with his wife and six-month-old daughter.
Last week,Krishnan told his father that he would visit him this week during an official tour to Kochi Naval base, said his aunt,Indira Babu. The last rites are expected to take place on Tuesday,when the bodies will be flown to their respective hometowns.
While the Navy operates about 60 Chetak choppers,it is currently looking for new twin-engined helicopters as a replacement.