IAF explores options to retrieve copter from Ladakh : The Tribune India

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IAF explores options to retrieve copter from Ladakh

Apache had to carry out emergency landing at 12,000 ft

IAF explores options to retrieve copter from Ladakh

The Apache helicopter has suffered damage. file



Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, April 7

Days after a Rs 650 crore Apache helicopter carried out an emergency landing at an altitude of over 12,000 feet in snow-bound Ladakh, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is still making efforts to retrieve it.

The helicopter carried out precautionary landing north of Khardung La during an operational sortie on Wednesday. “Recovering it will take some time,” sources said.

The helicopter landed in a snow-bound area after pilots reported “loss of power” and sustained damages.

The wreckage has been located. The challenge now for the IAF is to explore options on how to retrieve the wreckage, with the valley and altitude causing problems.

First, it has to be established if the copter is in a condition to fly again. The IAF will try to carry out repairs at the spot to see if it can fly to the nearest base or to a helipad at a lower altitude for full restoration.

In case the copter cannot fly, it will have to be winched up using a bigger helicopter like Chinook. The second is to dismantle the Apache and bring down each part. This can take weeks as it would need detailed numbering of parts, and trained teams will have to be sent to those altitudes.

A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the reason behind the emergency landing, IAF spokesperson had said on Thursday.

The IAF imported 22 Apache helicopters in 2015 after signing a Rs 14, 910 crore contract with US company Boeing. The copter is used to attack targets on ground and in the air.

A few of the Apache copters have been stationed in Ladakh since a military standoff broke out with China.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Indian Air Force #Ladakh


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