Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 13 January 2018
A Pawan Hans chopper operating with Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) goes missing a while back. According to National Defence sources, a total of seven people including pilots and 2-3 GM rank ONGC officials were on board the chopper.
The helicopter, a Dauphin N3 is 2010 make and it was choppers first flight after G inspection that is after overhauling. Sources informed the name of pilots as Wing Commander Ramesh Otker and Wing Commander Katoch.
The helicopter took off from Juhu in Mumbai at 10:20 am and was supposed to land at 10:55 am in North field but lost contact with Air Traffic Controller within 20-25 minutes as per Pawan Hans sources. No contact could be established after 10:30. Search operation is under way.
Indian Navy has also launched Search and Rescue operation off Mumbai High. According to Indian Navy spokesperson in New Delhi, 2X ISVs already deployed for patrol in area have been diverted for Search & Rescue along with 3 X ICG units already in area. Seaking 42B helicopter being launched in addition.
The Pawan Hans Dauphin N3 Helicopter has life jackets for all on board and passengers have to wear the life jackets. Besides a source informed that it also has floaters which open as get in contact with the Sea.
Besides an Emergency Transmitter Locator is also fitted in the chopper but that gets activated only on impact with the sea.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.