Coast Guard chopper crash: Co-pilot dies after battling for life in Mumbai hospital for 17 days
Co-pilot Penny Chaudhary had suffered a head injury and was being treated at the naval hospital in Colabamumbai Updated: Mar 28, 2018 16:23 IST
The co-pilot of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) helicopter, which crashed in Raigad district, Maharashtra, earlier this month, died on Tuesday night after battling for life for 17 days at the naval hospital in Colaba, Mumbai.
ICG spokesperson Commandant Avinandan Mitra confirmed co-pilot Penny Chaudhary’s death. “Chaudhary had suffered a head injury during the crash, and there was internal bleeding after the helicopter’s rotor struck her head. She had been on life support following a brain surgery at the naval hospital,” Mitra said.
Chaudhary, a native of Karnal, Haryana, had joined the ICG in 2013. The young officer had 555 flying hours to her credit. “She was a brilliant, soft-spoken officer and popular among her colleagues for her professionalism and social conduct,” a Coast Guard official said.
The helicopter crashed on March 10 near Nandgaon village in Murud during a routine sortie. It had four people on board when the mishap occurred, including Deputy Commandant and pilot Balwinder Singh, Chaudhary and two divers.
The chopper started descending suddenly after its engine stopped working mid-air. Singh and Chaudhary used the rotor’s movement to glide the chopper towards the shore, and prevented it from crashing into the sea. They attempted to land it on a sandy section of the beach, but it landed on a rocky patch.
The Navy dispatched two Chetak helicopters and a Sea King ‘C’ chopper on a search-and-rescue mission and located the crashed chopper. All four crew members were rescued and rushed to the naval hospital INHS Asvini. The other three survived the accident.