Two Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopters evacuated the wreckage of a private aircraft that had crashed near the Kedarnath shrine recently, PTI quoted IAF officials as saying. The aircraft, which belongs to UT Air Pvt limited, had crashed a few days ago at an altitude of 11,500 feet at the Kedarnath helipad.
A video released by ANI shows a Mi-17 V5 helicopter transporting the wreckage of the aircraft by carrying it underslung while another chopper provides logistical support. The crashed aircraft was flown to Sahastradhara near Dehradun in Uttarakhand on Saturday.
#WATCH On 26 October, Mi 17 V5 helicopters of Indian Air Force evacuated a crashed aircraft of UT Air Pvt limited at 11500 feet at Kedarnath helipad. The helicopter was flown to Sahastradhara near Dehradun #Uttarakhand pic.twitter.com/fgoOxKIMSr
— ANI (@ANI) October 27, 2019
“It was not feasible to transport the wreckage to a lower region due to only-foot-track connectivity to Kedarnath. The company requested IAF, through Uttarakhand civil administration, to render assistance in the evacuation of their downed aircraft before the closure of Kedarnath shrine this month-end,” PTI quoted a senior IAF official as saying.
With the aircraft hooked below the Mi-17 helicopter, the IAF crew displayed deft handling as it required to be flown back through a narrow valley, all the way to Sahastradhara. “The safe evacuation is a testimony to the responsiveness of the IAF in support of the civilian administration and the skill of IAF aircrew,” the official said.
A month ago, a private helicopter, with six passengers on board, had a narrow escape when the tail of the chopper hit a concrete structure while making an emergency landing at Kedarnath just minutes after taking off.
All seven people, including the pilot, are reported to be safe. The rear part of the helicopter was damaged in the incident.