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Seventeen Dead In Arunachal Pradesh When Helicopter Smashes Wall, Falls into Gorge

What: Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd Mil Mi-172 en route from Gauhati to Tawang India
Where: Tawang India
When: April 19, 2011, 13:57
Who: 23 aboard, 17 fatalities
Why: The Pawan Hans helicopter Captain Varun Gupta and Captain A. K. Tiwari was flying was approaching the helipad to land in Arunachal Pradesh when it struck a wall, broke into pieces, burst into flame and fell down into a gorge by the helipad.

Six survived, three of whom are critical. All—two crew members and four passengers who survived —are badly burned.

The deceased were identified as Mrs Anita, A Baruah, Dr Tendon, Dr Asif, Mrs R Asif, Mrs Jahara, Ms Asif, Master Asif, Mr A Sharma, A K Saraugi, Ms N Botha, Col Sharma, Mr W Bhatia, Mr T Mustafa, second pilot captain Tiwari, flight attendant A Dixit and assistant maintenance engineer S B Kulkarni.

Survivors include Captain Varun Gupta, Randiv Kumar Chaturvedi, Dorjee Wangdi, Rishi Bothra, Rajendra Pal and Mrs Karishma Saraugi.

The injured were taken to Tawang hospital and on the 20th will be air-lifted to Guwahati.

This was a regular flight to Tawang from the Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, and the helicopter has a valid certificate of airworthiness.

The DGCA speculates the chopper crashed was “likely” due to wind shear and down draft.

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