ICG Pilot Heroically Crash Lands Glitched Chopper, Saves 4 Lives

Shailesh Kumar, National Defence,
New Dehi, 10 March 2018

Performing security duty at sea is routine for Indian Coast Guard pilots but today was an odd day perhaps not a bad day. Thanks to this hero pilot, Deputy Commandant Balwinder Singh, who extraordinarily crash landed Indian Coast Guard’s glitched Chetak helicopter with frame number CG 803 at a secluded place and saved not only lives of all 4 crew members including himself but also no harm to person or property occurred at sea or at land.

The chopper, whilst on routine patrol off the coast south of Mumbai, crash landed near Nandgaon beach six nautical miles North of Murud near Alibaug at 1448 hrs on 10 Mar 2018.

Preliminary report intimates that the crew experienced technical difficulties 25 minutes after taking off.

“A special mention about the crew, Pilot, Dy Comdt Balwinder not only managed to save the Helicopter from total damage, He avoided landing at crowded places and the sea. All 4 are alive because of his skill”, said a source in Indian Coast Guard.

Responding swiftly, the Indian Navy launched two Chetak helicopters and a Seaking ‘C’ helicopter on a Search and Rescue mission and located the ICG helicopter. One ICG Chetak and an Air Force Mi 17 helicopter were also part of the search effort. All four crew members of the ICG helicopter were rescued from the scene of the crash and flown back to the Naval Hospital INHS Asvini at Mumbai. One ICG lady pilot has suffered injuries and is being treated at the naval hospital.

Indian Coast Guard provided the crew list as:

  1. Deputy Commandant Balwinder Singh
  2. Asst Comdt Penny Choudhary
  3. Sandeep, P/Nvk
  4. Baljeet, Nvk

About Chetak Helicopter:

HAL, Helicopter Division started manufacturing of helicopters in 1962, by entering an agreement with M/s SUD-AVIATION (Presently M/s AIRBUS (Former EUROCOPTER), France) for production of Aloutte III helicopters (Chetak). The first Chetak (Aloutte III) in ‘Fly Away’ condition delivered in 1965.

The Chetak Helicopter is a two ton class helicopter.  The seven seater Chetak helicopter is versatile, multi role, multi purpose, and spacious.

The helicopter is powered by Artouste – III B turbo shaft engine.

The helicopter is suitable for commuting, cargo / material transport, casualty evacuation, Search & Rescue (SAR), Aerial Survey & Patrolling, Emergency Medical Services, Off-shore operations and Under slung operations.

Till date, HAL has produced and sold more than 350 of these versatile Helicopters which are in service both in India and abroad.

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