Tuesday, September 15, 2009

IAF’s Dhruv’s first ever Recorded Rescue Mission at unprecendented heights


On 13 Sep 09 the Delhi based Western Air Command was requested for an air evacuation of 19 members of an Army Mountaineering Expedition to Pin Parbati Pass, who were stranded at a height of 14,600 feet in the treacherous glaciated terrain in the higher hills of Himachal Pradesh. Due to incessant rains, heavy snowfall and bad weather the expedition members were stranded for the last five days.

The situation demanded an immediate air rescue as the team had been out of ration and were unable to either proceed or return. An Advanced Light Helicopter (Dhruv) captained by Wg Cdr Nikhil Naidu with co-pilot Wg Cdr UKS Bhaduria was pressed into service for the air rescue mission.

A detailed rescue plan was chalked out in conjunction with the crew of three Army Cheetah helicopters, also tasked for the rescue mission. The crew had to ensure the safety of the mission inspite of limited reserve of power due to high altitudes and unfavourable ambient temperatures. Though the degree of difficulty of the mission was very high, the experienced IAF pilots decided to carry out the rescue by means of conducting a low hover pickups of the stranded Army personnel. A total of 12 personnel were rescued by the single ALH in three sorties and the rest seven personnel were rescued by the Army Aviation Cheetah helicopters.

The mission carried out by the IAF helicopter was the first ever recorded rescue mission by the ALH (Dhruv) at such high altitudes. The evacuation was only possible due to meticulous planning, exceptional skill and methodical conduct of the entire mission by the helicopter crew.

1 comments:

now where is CAG report on hal dhruv that says it is useless in high mountains.how reliably is CAG report is?

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