India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others were killed in a chopper crash near Ooty in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
The chopper was heading to the Wellington defence establishment.
While the last time a chopper crash involving a senior Army officer was in 1993, similar accidents have led to the deaths of several political leaders.
May 7, 1993
An Indian military helicopter crashed in Bhutan, killing all eight officers on board. The victims included the army commander of India’s eastern region, Lt. Gen. Jamil Mehmood.
The MI-8 helicopter had taken off from the capital Thimpu and crashed after it caught fire about 20 minutes later in the village of Ha. Mehmood was on an official visit to Bhutan.
Nevember 14, 1997
A four-seater Cheetah with then senior DMK leader and Union minister of state for Defence NVN Somu, Major General Ramesh Nagpal and two Majors (both pilots) onboard crashed around 40 kms northeast of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang, killing all the four occupants.
March 3, 2002
GMC Balayogi, who was the Speaker of Lok Sabha, died in a plane crash in Andhra Pradesh. Balayogi’s Bell 206 helicopter crashed in Kaikalur area of Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. He was 50 when he died.
C Sangma, Union Minister and Community Development Minister of Meghalaya, died when the helicopter he was travelling in from Guwahati to Shillong crashed.
March 31, 2005
Haryana Agriculture minister and Bansi Lal’s son Surender Singh and noted industrialist and Power minister O P Jindal were killed on the spot when the helicopter they were travelling crashed in a village, about 40 km from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, in which the pilot also died.
Two persons – Ved Goyal, a relative of Jindal, and head constable Vinod Kumar – who were also onboard the helicopter belonging to the Rs 10,000 crore Jindal conglomerate, were injured in the crash that occurred at around 1230 hrs in Menghi village.
September 2, 2009
Then Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s Bell 430 helicopter went missing on September 2, 2009 at 9:35 am. Begumpet and Shamshabad air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft when it was passing through the dense Nallamala forest area. The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed the helicopter crash the next morning, in which all onboard, including Reddy, his Special Secretary P. Subrahmanyam, Chief Security Officer ASC Wesley, Group Captain SK Bhatia and Captain MS Reddy, were confirmed dead.
April 19, 2011
Seventeen people were killed, including two children, in a helicopter crash in Tawang in western Arunachal Pradesh. The helicopter, that belonged to Pawan Hans, was on a regular passenger sortie from Guwahati to Tawang. The incident occurred around 1:30 pm in the afternoon.
Of the 23 people flying — 18 passengers and 5 crew members — six were rescued.
April 30, 2011
A chopper carrying then Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu went missing shortly after take off. Khandu’s body was found almost five days later, while the debris of the crashed helicopter was found on May 4 by some villagers near the Tawang district.
November 23, 2015
A chopper carrying six pilgrims and a pilot had crashed at a bus stand in Katra town in Jammu district. The chopper was on its way to Sanji Chhat, which falls on the route to Vaishno Devi.
The pilot flying the helicopter, 44-year-old Captain Sumita Vijayan, was among the first woman pilots of the IAF. She had retired from the post of squadron leader in 2005 after serving for 12 years in the force. She was cremated with full state honours.
October 6, 2017
Five Indian Air Force crew members and two Indian Army personnel were killed after an IAF chopper crashed near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.