HAL Chetak helicopter crashes, pilots survive, aircraft badly damaged

A Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) Chetak helicopter registration VT-EIV belonging to the HAL Rotary Wing Academy crashed earlier this morning around 0900 (0330Z) while performing a training flight at the HAL airport in Bangalore, India.
Image courtesy Wikipedia
Bangalore Aviation understands the aircraft was just commencing a routine training flight, and had lifted just about 15 ft in the air when it suffered a suspected tail-rotor failure and crashed back on the ground along the taxiway. The airport operations have been ceased but the airport main runway is functional.

The trainer is a retired Indian armed forces pilot Air Cmde. ROJ Assey, and the trainee is Capt. Virendra Singh of the Indian Army. Both pilots sustained orthopaedic injuries but have survived the crash. They have been taken to hospital for treatment. Hindustan Aeronautics is rendering all assistance.

The aircraft is badly damaged and could be a complete write-off.

The Chetak is the Indian version (SA-315B) of the venerable Aérospatiale Alouette III. It is a single-engine, light utility helicopter recognised for its mountain rescue capabilities and adaptability. Originally developed by Sud Aviation it is made in India by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd as the Chetak, which is a workhorse of the Indian Army and Indian Navy.

VT-EIV had a construction number AH-280 and was built around May 1984. The accident has been reported to India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation and will be investigated by them.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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