How an Indian Army chopper landed in Pakistan

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Daredevil, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Anatomy of a goof-up: How an Indian Army chopper landed in Pakistan

    New Delhi: About a year ago, a Cheetah Helicopter of the Aviation Wing of the Indian Army landed in Pakistan, almost sparking a diplomatic row between the two countries. But how could an aircraft land in Pakistan? The details of what preceded and followed the goof-up, which easily qualifies as one of the most embarrassing moments for the Indian Military in recent times, have been a closely-held secret. The inquiry into the incident, accessed by NDTV, reveals an almost incredible and, at times, a hilarious sequence of events.

    On 23 October 2011, a Cheetah Helicopter was launched from the Leh airfield, the Headquarters of 14 Corps of Indian Army, to repair a Dhruv Helicopter that was stranded at Drass. About half an hour into the flight, the pilots realised that they were low on fuel and decided to refuel at Kargil and had apparently spotted the Kargil airfield from air. The aircraft allegedly had only about 20 litres of fuel on board. However, sources tell NDTV, that the Global Positioning System (GPS) on board the aircraft was giving a different reading. After a quick consultation, the two pilots decided to over-ride the GPS and shift to manual flying using prominent terrain features as a guide. Sources tell NDTV, that the pilots spotted a second air field as well. The oil dumps in the second air field were allegedly visible from air as well.

    The Cheetah Helicopter was brought down on the second air field, and much to the surprise of the pilots, they were approached by a man in a pathani suit. Although perplexed to have been met by personnel who weren't in uniform, the pilots - perhaps in a hurry to reach Drass - asked for the aircraft to be refuelled. And seconds later, they allegedly realised that they had inadvertently crossed over to Pakistan and landed at an airfield controlled by a Pakistani artillery unit - 90 Medium Regiment.

    Meanwhile, another independent mistake happened. The Air Observation Post (AOP), positioned along the border, picked up a helicopter flying into Pakistan and reported back to 14 Corps about a Pakistani intrusion into Indian air space. Air intrusions, officers say, do happen and, at times, are deliberately done to test the response systems of the enemy. As the 14 Corps got busy in determining a response to the Pakistani air intrusion, another separate input reached them as well - it said that an Indian helicopter was missing. The second input about the missing helicopter reached the 14 Corps at about 1.15 pm.

    For the next 45 minutes or so, till the Pakistani media reported that an Indian military helicopter had been brought down in the Kargil-Olding Sector, India had no clue that the helicopter reported missing and the alleged Indian air space violation by Pakistan were one and the same. According to sources, the Northern Command informed the Army Headquarters soon after about the goof-up. The Army HQ then alerted the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Director General of Military Operation (DGMO) - who has a hotline to his Pakistani counterpart - was on the phone as well.

    By this time, the two pilots of the Indian Aviation Corps were in the Officers' Mess of the 90 Medium Regiment. The Commanding Officer of the Unit and other senior officers of the Pakistani Army rushed to the airfield. And, even though there were some doubts in the initial hours of the crisis as to how Pakistan would react to this incident, the situation at the Pakistani airfield was different. The Indian officers, sources tell NDTV, were told soon after they landed that mistakes do happen when flying through such a terrain.

    Soon, however, by about 2:45-3 pm, Pakistan decided to send the crew and the helicopter back. The helicopter was refuelled - as was the original idea - and given clearance for a take-off. The Pakistani soldiers, however, kept back the map that was used by the pilots to navigate to the Kargil airbase on the Indian side.
     
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  3. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    So where is the goof up. Who in the world conducts regular flights over heights of 9000 to16000 feet, in an area where weather changes in half an hour, where one gets stuck up in a mass of clouds and hail of a storm. Where everything down below looks all the same and disorientation is a rule of law rather than an exception. Where helicopters fall down like a stone due to rarefied air and air pockets . Where the carrying capacities of helicopters may be as less as 100 kg. One has to go through to know what are white out conditions. Our people as also the Pakistanies do a tremendous good job there. It is the Jihadi spirit and perennial itch of Sahadat of Pakistanies which has turned this area into battle field. In their absence this should have been only the tranquil land and abode of peace fit for Lamas only.

    Now the farting journalist of NDTV will sit on the incidents which they call goof ups by pilots in high altitude areas and pass their judgements ! Why do not they pitch up their voices as to why Indian Army pilots are flying fist world war French machines over Kargil? Let the professionals do their jobs rather than likes of Barkha sprinkling the drops over air operations.

    Shameless people !
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
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  4. san

    san Regular Member

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    It is always better to find the fault/mistake and correct it rather than bury it. After all the pilots are human and error happen.
     
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  5. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Finding faults by whom? By those sitting in AC broadcast rooms on their bums? Fault has to be found by the professionals !
     
  6. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    the gps is not native product thats why it didnt identified pakistani airbase as foe base.. this is exactly the problem with FOREIGN SYSTEM, we adjust into the gear instead of having gear to fit onto us
     
  7. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The report says the GPS was showing some other base but pilots did not believe it and went instead on manual operation. That is highly possible. Though The iA, as per one report have gone for another GPS system after this episode.
     
  8. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    well the later action says it all. the gps surely failed to mark the base as a foreign base else who in the right mind wants to land on pakistani airbase with indian army uniform on its body? no one. not even a mentally sick person.

    but there is another hilarious thing- as it is seen that helicopter landed on its own as against the media(paki and the initial) reports that pakistani army forced it to land. indian heli not only crossed but landed on paki air base with ease and without facing any firing or even stoning. this tells us about the attitude of the paki forces on border. this also tells us about the success of avalanche on the pakistani army post( killing hundred+). its so simple to attack a relaxed person
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Most surprising.

    I have flown this route many a time.

    The landmarks are very prominent. The Indus River till it veers off North to Batalik area, Moonland near Lamayaru, thereafter two prominent mountain passes and then at Kargil, you will see Pt 13625 in front and the Humbotingla to the right, Kargil Town and the Helipad and to the left the Kargil airstrip and the Suru River!

    That apart there is this sole prominent road that leads goes from Leh to Kargil along the route mentioned and a very lousy road moves off to the Batalik Sector when the Indus turns North!

    Further, I wonder if any pilot who has not done the route as a co pilot would be in a helicopter.

    Remeember the case where the fPakistani forces opened fire and hit an AN-32 transport aircraft flown by Air Marshal V K Bhatia, Air Officer Commanding-in-chief Western Air Command?

    You should not take controls of an aircraft in peacetime near the border or LC if you have not flown the route and are familiar with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
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  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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  11. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    I wish some pilot should have taken some risk with you !
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    NO matter what is the rank of the passenger, the captain of the aircraft is the BOSS.

    If I were landed in Pakistan then DFI would have missed all these nuggets I am giving! ;) :rofl:
     
  13. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    This information was leaked to the AC broadcast rooms by military officials. Rest assured.
     
  14. Dixit13

    Dixit13 Regular Member

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    Did they offer Biryani, to our pilots??? @@ Peace ;)
     

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