Indian Army’s 203 Aviation Squadron, which crashed at a height of 17,000 feet near the Khanda post in January this year has finally been repaired and has been taken back to the base camp. The aircraft was forced to land in snow and was abandoned to its fate. Several plans were made to get the aircraft back and even detailed plan was made.
Recently, news agency ANI reported that pilots and technicians successfully recovered a helicopter which was stuck in snow at an altitude of 18,000 feet at Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir. The entire operation took around six months after an ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) Dhruv, on an air maintenance sortie at the 74-km-long Siachen Glacier, developed a glitch and had to be landed around a post called Khanda in January
At the end of several rounds of inspections by the Indian Army’s Army Aviation Squadron concluded that it could be repaired and after getting approval from the Commanding Officer of the 14 Corps, the repair plans were initiated.
A team took 15 days journey to survive in such extreme conditions in order to reach the spot to carry out the rescue operation. Although, with the bad weather conditions, the team could only perform repairs for barely an hour when the team managed to fix the problems and made it operational.
Sources of Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed the news and told Financial Express, “This is the first time that repairs of this scale have been carried out. Earlier engines and blades of the helicopters have been changed before’’.
“New parts for the repairs were sourced from the base at Leh and repairs were carried out by trained and dedicated technicians,” he added.
The Cheetah and Chetak choppers, which are French-origin machines in the Indian Army, fly at around 23,000 feet. The French military also doesn’t use them for such extreme operations where the margin of error is very thin.