GUWAHATI: Indian military helicopter crashed on Thursday in Assam. Two pilots Wing Commander J James and Wing Commander D Vats were killed in the crash.
Police in the island district confirmed the incident and the deaths. It is suspected that the crash took place due to technical reasons, the officer added. A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.
The crash took place around noon at Darbar Chapori, a sand bar in the Brahmaputra, soon after taking off from the Jorhat air base. People from villages in the district spotted the aircraft going up in flames and informed the authorities. The chopper was flying to Arunachal Pradesh.
"An Indian Air Force Microlight Virus SW-80 crashed around 1200 hrs today, after getting airborne from Air Force Station Jorhat, for a routine sortie," the defence ministry said in a statement in New Delhi.
The pilots attempted an emergency landing but the aircraft crashed in a sand bar in the northern part of the district and went up in flames, Tezpur-based defence spokesperson Lt. Col. Harshvardhan Pande told PTI.
The IAF <link> had procured around 80 Slovenian-origin microlight aircraft about three years ago. They are usually deployed for environmental and bird recce missions, an IAF official said.