Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Indian supplied Dhruv Helicopter crashes in Eucador air show


Two helicopter pilots have been hospitalised after a crash during a military parade in Eucador. The recently purchased Dhruv helicopter was flying in formation with two other choppers over an air force base near Quito when it suddenly veered off course and slammed into the ground.

"The two crew members managed to get out by their own means and were taken to hospital," air force general Leonardo Barreiro told local media. "Their condition is apparently good."

Ecuadorian Vice President Lenin Moreno was among those attending the air show, to mark the 89th anniversary of Eucador's air force, when the sudden crash plunged the carefully choreographed event into chaos. Local authorities have grounded another six Dhruv choppers, recently purchased from India for $50 million, as they probe the exact cause of the crash. The helicopters include one used by President Rafael Correa.


Only dumb people would have opted to buy such an unreliable system - actually flying junk - from India. There may be financial tricks involved in selling these death machines to Ecuadorians. Even bigger folly was to include these dangrous choppers, which can go berserk at any time without any signs of faultering, in a parade that was attended by their president. Only thing I would like to know is if the choppers were being flown by INdian pilots at the time of that incident.

From the pictures, this helicopter looks more like a thresher machine. What are its performance parameters?

oh yes,
this machine is flying upto heights of 22000 ft deep into himalayas, and in deserts where the temperatures rise upto 52 degree centigrades.

Another massively negative PR for the DRDO/HAL. Quality control still remains an issue for Indian hardware given the fact that the entire Indian fleet of Dhruvs was grounded in 2005.

While the product is promising, like so many of the other indigenous programs, this one could also end being a failure due to shoddy quality control and lacking support (engineering and marketing).

@anony 09:15am

and u being present at the time and place with the accident happened and u been buddy buddy with the head of the investigation .... so u KNOW ALL

Pal, shoddy controls????? lacking support???... Are u a pilot??? .... have u flown the Dhruv???.... did u buy it??? .... and somehow still u can comment on all this???...

Crashes in air shows are not unusual. Need to wait for the cause to be identified before commenting on the machine. That pilots survived in "good condition" is commendable for any rotor craft.

Actually yes I was closely involved in the negotiations on the side of FAE. Pay attention to what I have stated. I was talking about quality control issues and engineering support. The other issue was marketing for the platform. Many things marketed in terms of performance were not at par with the actual performance of the helicopter. I hope this helps to clarify.

"Unreliable system - actually Flying junk - from India" Wow what a line to describe Dhruv even before completion of the investigation and knowing the actual reason. Just because it is made by India it becomes unreliable. Initial investigations have shown that there was no fire when it was crashing. And also after it crashed there was no fire and the fuel supply to the engines were automatically cut off. This shows its crashworthiness. the pilots walked out of the crashed helicopter without major injuries.
Also in the previous crash of Dhruv in 2005 all of the six onboard had survived.
Couple of days back two American choppers crashed in Afghanistan killing about 4 of the crew but no one is calling them unreliable.

The Dhruv is an excellent aircraft.
There are > 200 of these with the Indian armed forces (Army, Navy, Airforce, Coast Guard) This helo has served very satisfactorily from sea level to >5500 meters hight in -40 degrees celcius temperature at the Siachen Glacier (Called Earth's third pole)

The fact that the crew survived unhurt after that horrible crash is due to the crashworthy cockpit of the chopper specially designed with carbon fibre composites.
Also the Fuel tanks are designed to survive impacts such as these, and the valves shut down the fuel after an accident to prevent fire. The chopper also has a vibration reduction instrument to take care of unnecessary vibrations. In addition to a glass cockpit, this is a very modern piece of equipment.

Regarding procuring this helicoptor for the Ecuadorean armed forces, Who's decision should one trust? The pilots and the military experts who evaluated this helicopter opposite to helicoptors from other nations or some internet-experts?
Everytime the Indian airforce display team 'Sarang' which also flies the dhruv, has performed, they have displayed the extraordinary maneuverability of this helicopter. Its abilities have been appreciated the world over.

Several nations operate this chopper. Bolivia, Burma, Ecuador, Israel, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Somalia, Suriname, Turkey, in addition to India.
This is a stable, and mature platform, with a well proven record.

If this helicopter had not been trustworthy, Ecuador would not have brought one for its President.
The rules for any aircraft to be able to fly the President are very strict. No aircraft which is not absolutely safe will ever be allowed to carry a head of state. Regarding helicopters, If I remember correctly, only two engined helicopters are allowed to fly the president, and that too ones which have specially enhanced safety features & a well known safety and performance record - like the Dhruv.

Regarding the cost of the helicopter, the HAL bid was 32% cheaper than the 2nd lowest bidder, inspite of offering one of the best safety features and beating the rest in performance.
Please read this:

See what happened with the Bell Helicopters deal:

Please please inform yourselves correctly before commenting


HAL Statement on Dhruv Crash: As a matter of principle, HAL would not like to speculate on the causes of the incident based on the media reports available in public domain. The HAL team, which was already in Ecuador providing maintenance support, is assisting the Ecuadorian Air Force in its investigations. In addition, a three member team of senior specialists including HAL’s Chief Test Pilot is reaching Ecuador to provide all necessary assistance in the investigation. Dhruv helicopter has been designed for excellent handling qualities and crash worthiness and manufactured with advanced technologies. The helicopter has several safety features such as twin engines, dual flight control, redundancy in critical systems, self sealing fuel tanks, modern fire protection devices and a structure designed to ensure crashworthiness. These features ensure safety of crew and occupants.

Dhruv has been extensively flight tested throughout its flight envelope by highly experienced HAL test pilots & has been evaluated by Customer pilots from IAF/Army prior to certification by Military & civil regulatory authorities. After certification, Dhruv has flown nearly 39,000 Hrs as a fleet, with more than 80 Dhruvs flown by various users. These flights were all flown carrying out difficult missions such as high altitude operations in Siachen glacier in extremely inhospitable weather conditions, Search & Rescue in all terrains, flood relief and casualty evacuation. As many as seven lead helicopters have flown close to 1000 Hrs each safely in similar missions.

DHRUV’s capability has been amply demonstrated in several challenging terrains and missions. The role of DHRUV in the relief missions in post Tsunami operations and during Gujarat floods and the high altitude rescue at Pin Parbati Pass stand testimony to DHRUV’s versatility of operations. “Sarang” – the Aerobatic Display team of Indian Air Force has displayed DHRUV’s capabilities in several international air shows.

Ecuadorian pilots have undergone extensive flying training on DHRUV at HAL’s facilities and had expressed happiness with the handling qualities , advanced avionics and safety features of Dhruv during interactions with HAL instructors who flew training missions with them in India and Ecuador, Ecuadorian Air Force has successfully carried out several missions in their DHRUVs in their difficult terrains and has logged 860 hours. It appears from the reported statements attributed to the top officials of the Ecuadorian Air force that the helicopter may have been maneuvered excessively. The built in safety features have ensured that both the pilots walked away to safety without any major injuries. HAL is committed to provide products of high quality & value to its customers backed up by professional and dedicated service.

There is a news item that Ecuador had indicated that it would declare its USD 50 million contract for seven Dhruvs with HAL void, depending on the outcome of the probe into Tuesday's crash.
$50m for 7 junk pieces seems to be way high. You can buy more fighter planes for that price. Second hand F-16 were sold for less than 6m a piece some years ago. You can surely buy more than seven pieces of a better helicopter at present. Ecuadorians, I think, were really ripped off. Certainly good marketing tactics by Indians.

To Mr. choda October 30, 2009 5:51 PM
Hey maanchoda, your argument seems to be misplaced. A bulky cow can not function as a flying dragon. It really depends on the role or function that the helicopter was bought by other countries. For civilian uses, it may be fine. For strenuous duties, it may prove to be wanting. To me, a helicopter that spins out of control is useless and unsuitable to any duty, civilian or military. You need to check the veracity of your information and rather yourself too.

No doubt whatever bloggers here may say one thing is for sure that eucador air crash of dhruvs is a very bad publicity for dhruv and HAL as a whole,many potential buyers will think about it twice.

ROFL!!!ahahahahahahahahaha i thought this helicoper is an awesome machine ahahahahah but i guess i have to rethink my thinking ahahahahahahahaha good luck to endians and i feel sorry for the pilots who had to go through this night mare :(..btw this heli is the worlds ugliest machine i have ever seen, toooo bulky and unsatisfying

I have seen the crash film repeatedly.The pilots are being taken out of a ambulance.they were not waliking....Eucador has cancelled the deal with India which was done though an Israili agent.They want their money back.
\\\Eucador has requested India to collect all the junk left of the downed ...Dharuv...Perhaps they are not satisfied with the Indian Aviation saftey standards .Next time sell some thing durable.
By just crying Migs ..Russian ..You cannot hide your own weekness and flaws.

i think we can not say that dhruv helicopter is not reliable it can happen with any helicopter.india & other & 9 country using more than 90 dhruv helicopter(+ 450 on order) since 2002. no country lost any dhruv helicopter & did not face any technical problem.may be ecuador lost helicopter due to poor maintenance.


Dhruv is a platform and contrary to all the comments against it on this platform eventually not just that it was eventually cleared it was pilot mistake not any technically fault and the order is increased by another two units and replacement for this crashed chopper too.
And in b/w bell helicopters which are 40% costl than dhruv are repeatedly crashing and so does blackhawk doesn't mean they are bad machines.
As a matter of fact dhruv is technically in the league of blackhawk and this is not any Indian claims but Israeli and pilots from different nation confirms this.

Way to go dhruv........Dog barks it doesn't matter to a lion.

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