The Army has grounded the entire fleet of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv following the crash of one of the choppers in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, military sources said.
An Army chopper crashed near Machhna village in Marwah tehsil in Kishtwar District of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. It has been reported that as many as three people were onboard the chopper when the crash took place.
A technician was killed and two pilots were injured in the incident. As a precautionary measure, the ALH Dhruv fleet has been temporarily grounded, the sources said.
The Navy and the Coast Guard had grounded their respective ALH Dhruv fleets in March following two similar incidents involving the platform.
On March 8, an Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), which was on a routine sortie with three personnel on board, had to make an emergency landing off the Mumbai coast.
The crew was rescued by a naval patrol aircraft, said the official.
“Indian Navy ALH on a routine sortie off Mumbai ditched close to the coast. Immediate search and rescue ensured the safe recovery of the crew of 3 by a naval patrol craft,” the official said.
It has been reported that during the incident, the Indian Navy ALH chopper experienced a sudden loss of power and rapid loss of height.
According to the naval officers, the pilot carried out controlled ditching over water and all three aircrews exited the helicopter safely and were recovered.
The ditched helicopter had deployed its emergency flotation gear and efforts are underway to salvage it.
In naval terminologies,“ditching” refers to an emergency landing on water.
On March 26, an ALH-DHRUV Mark 3 helicopter of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was forced to make a landing in Kerala's Kochi after takeoff, injuring one person.
The sources said the ALH Dhruv choppers with the Navy and the Coast Guard are undergoing technical checks. The helicopters which have been cleared in the scrutiny process are flying now, said a source.
The Indian Air Force operates around 70 ALH Dhruv.
(With inputs from PTI)