Chopper crash kills Majors | india | Hindustan Times
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Chopper crash kills Majors

Two pilots were killed when a defence helicopter crashed into a thickly-populated residential area of this city today, police said.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2011 00:30 IST
Presley Thomas

Two army majors were killed when their Cheetah helicopter crashed in Nashik, on Wednesday, minutes after take-off from an army base.

Major Atul Garje and major P Bhanu Chander had taken off from the army’s Combat Aviation Training Centre at Gandhinagar in Nashik at 9.12 am. But the chopper’s rotor developed a snag within three minutes, Army sources said.

The two pilots tried to manoeuvre the chopper to safety, but the rotor hit the edge of a shed inside the compound of a bungalow in Jachak Nagar and crashed.

“Unfortunately, both pilots were killed. There were no civilian casualties,” said major general Sanjeev Madhok, additional director general (public information). The bodies of both officers were retrieved by the Nashik fire brigade.

The Army has now ordered a probe into the cause of the accident.

Preliminary investigations suggest the chopper's rotors developed a snag within minutes of the take-off.

Indian Army sources said the rotors had stopped moving in mid-air after which it was not possible to control the helicopter. Forensic experts were called in to retrieve the flight data recorder from the helicopter.