An Army Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv crash landed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district on Thursday morning, injuring its two pilots and a technician who was also on board.

All the three injured Army Aviation crew are reported to be safe and were evacuated to the Command Hospital at Udhampur in J&K for necessary medication, said Army sources. This is the third incident where an airborne ALH has developed a technical fault, leading to unsafe landing in the last two months.

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At about 11.15 am, “an Army aviation ALH Dhruv helicopter, on an operational mission, made a precautionary landing on the banks of the Marua river in Kishtwar region of J&K,” the Northern Command Headquarters said in a statement.

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, undergrowth and unprepared landing area, the helicopter apparently made a hard landing,” Northern Command HQ said.

Immediate rescue operations were launched by Army teams and the three crew members were rushed to the Command Hospital at Udhampur, the Army said. A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.

After two accidents involving the ALH, the Army and Navy had grounded their fleet for safety checks. But, the fleet, 40 in operation by the Navy and Coast Guard, got the nod for flying since no substantial problem was found with the indigenous platform manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, sources said. In March, an ALH flown by the Indian Coast Guard, ditched over water in Kochi, but the pilots came out safely.

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