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Indian military reports third ALH crash of 2023

Two Indian Army HAL Dhruv helicopters fly in formation with a Dhruv Mk IV (Rudra) armed helicopter during a parade on 9 January 2023. The Indian Army operates 144 Dhruvs. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)

An Indian Army Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv helicopter has crashed. It is the third Dhruv crash since the start of 2023.

The Dhruv Mk III was on an operational mission in the Kishtwar region of Jammu and Kashmir on 4 May when it crashed, according to a statement by the Indian Army's Northern Command.

According to the army, the pilots reported a technical problem shortly before the crash. The crew also attempted a precautionary landing, the army said.

“As per inputs, the pilots had reported a technical fault to the air traffic controller (ATC) and proceeded for a precautionary landing. Due to the undulating ground, undergrowth, and unprepared landing area, the helicopter apparently made a hard landing,” Northern Command statement said.

The crash site was on the banks of the Marau river, the army added. The incident occurred at around 1115 h local time, according to the army. The army said in its initial statement that two pilots and a technician aboard the helicopter were injured. However, Northern Command tweeted later on 4 May that the technician had been killed.

The ALH fleet across the Indian military was grounded following two crashes earlier this year. On 8 March, an Indian Navy Dhruv had crashed following “sudden loss of power and rapid loss of height” while on a routine patrol. This was followed on 26 March by the crash of a Dhruv Mk III helicopter of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). Janes

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