Technical fault: Chopper training goes wayward

Emergency landing by army training helicopter creates brief panic.

Express March 11, 2011


An emergency landing by an army training helicopter in the fields of a private farmhouse created a brief panic in the outskirts of the city.

Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the three junior rank officers on board remained unhurt.

The three-seater ‘Acquirell’ of Army Aviation, after taking off from Dhamyal Base Rawalpindi, made an emergency landing with minor damage to its tail and window on impact with ground, officials said.

Earlier on Thursday morning dozens of people who say they saw the helicopter “going down” in an unusual manner rushed to the spot. They thought the chopper was crashing. A group of volunteers reached the place within a few minutes of the landing.

An eye-witness said, “I was standing on the rooftop when I saw the helicopter rushing waywardly towards our building. First, I thought it was going to crash into the building but then it stabilised and landed.”

The nearby building was a cattle-shed with over 30 cows in it, he said.

Police and army vehicles in large numbers rushed to the place and quickly cordoned off the area.

An official of the ISPR told The Express Tribune that the helicopter was on routine training flight.

“The pilot detected some technical fault in the engine of the helicopter and decided to make an emergency landing,” said Colonel Farooq Ahmed.

However, there was no major fault and three junior officers on board sustained no injuries.

The land where the helicopter landed was a private farmland.

Army aviation technicians remained with the helicopter for many hours to remove the fault before it could be taken back to the base.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2011.


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