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Naval chopper crash: Bodies of missing personnel found

Press Trust of India
Mar 09, 2013 at 10:55pm IST

New Delhi: The Navy on Saturday recovered the bodies of its two personnel including a pilot who had been missing after their chopper crashed off the Viskhapatnam harbour four days ago. The Chetak helicopter had crashed with four persons on board of which two were rescued while the two others had gone missing.

The bodies of the two missing personnel including the chopper's co-pilot Lieutenant Pranab Likite and sea diver Petty Officer GS Sen were recovered in this evening along with the wreckage of the chopper after four days of search and rescue operations, Navy officials said here.

The families of the officials have been informed about the incident, they said. The chopper had crashed on March 5 at around 15:00 hours during a routine training sortie. The Navy has already ordered a Board of Inquiry to investigate the reasons behind the crash of the light utility chopper, they said. The Cheetah and Chetak choppers are the vintage of the 60s and the 70s and are the mainstay of the armed forces for ferrying small groups of personnel and light loads.

Naval chopper crash: Bodies of missing personnel found

The families of the officials have been informed about the incident, Naval officials said.

The Navy has already initiated the process for acquiring 56 new light choppers with twin-engines for replacing the vintage choppers. The IAF and the Army are also in the process of replacing their fleet of such choppers. In a similar crash in October last year in Panaji, three naval personnel including two pilots had died when their aircraft crashed at the Dabolim airport while landing there.

Before that incident, a Navy light helicopter crashed in 2005 when a chopper from Goa met with the accident near Belgaum in Karnataka on its way to Vishakhapatnam.

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