Copter crash: P’kula pilot’s fate unknown

CHANDIGARH: Capt VC Katoch, one of the two pilots of the ill-fated Pawan Hans helicopter that crashed off the Mumbai coast this morning, belonged to Panchkula.

editorial@tribune.com

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13

Capt VC Katoch, one of the two pilots of the ill-fated Pawan Hans helicopter that crashed off the Mumbai coast this morning, belonged to Panchkula. The helicopter had seven persons on board, including five ONGC officials. Five bodies have been recovered so far.

Capt Katoch was a former Army Aviation Corps pilot. According to Army sources, Katoch was an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned into the Army in December 1985. He later converted to the Army Aviation from his parent arm. He left the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after putting in 25 years of service.

He had been flying with the national helicopter carrier, Pawan Hans, for about 11 years.

Capt Katoch’s associates recall him as a highly professional flier, with a lot of experience, who was amiable, social and got along well with his colleagues.

Capt Katoch, who was married, with two daughters, had a flat in Panchkula but was residing in the Pawan Hans Colony in Mumbai because of his assignment and the nature of his duties.

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