An Indian Army Cheetah helicopter crashed on Thursday near Mandala, west of Bomdila, in Arunachal Pradesh, a defence spokesperson said in Guwahati. The pilot as well as the co-pilot have died, a defence spokesperson confirmed to the media, adding that the wreckage had been located.
The deceased pilots were identified as Lt Colonel VVB Reddy and Major Jayanth A, said defence spokesperson Lt Col. Mahendra Rawat, adding that the Indian Army has ordered a court of inquiry into the crash.
The chopper, which was flying an operational sortie near Bomdila, lost contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) around 9.15 am, Lt Col Rawat had said earlier today.
"It crashed near Mandala, west of Bomdila. Search parties have been sent to the spot to look for survivors," he had said, as quoted by PTI.
Rohit Rajbir Singh, the superintendent of police, Special Investigation Cell (SIC), told PTI that villagers had found the crashed chopper ablaze in Dirang around 12:30 pm, and informed district officials. The helicopter was still burning when the police reached the site.
The area has no mobile connectivity and the weather is extremely foggy with visibility as low as five meters, Singh added.