An Indian Army helicopter crashed near Mandala in Arunachal Pradesh on March 16, 2023, with two crew members reported missing. The chopper lost contact with the Air Traffic Controller at 9:15 am while on an operational sortie near Bomdila. The aircraft was en route to Missamari from Senge village when it lost contact midway and could not be located.
Search parties have been launched to locate the missing crew members, a Lieutenant Colonel and a Major. The crash site was later located in the Mandala hills area, west of Bomdila, by villagers from Bangjalep, Dirang PS. Search and rescue teams of the Army, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and police have been dispatched to the site.
The Indian Army Aviation Cheetah helicopter was on a routine operational sortie when it lost contact with the ATC. The Army has confirmed that the chopper crashed near Mandala and search parties have been launched to locate the missing crew members.
The cause of the crash is currently unknown and an investigation will be carried out to determine the cause. The Army Aviation Cheetah helicopter is a lightweight, single-engine helicopter used primarily for reconnaissance, surveillance, and casualty evacuation missions.
The incident highlights the risks faced by the Indian armed forces, who operate in remote and often challenging environments. The search and rescue operation will be a challenging task, given the difficult terrain and harsh weather conditions in the area.