IAF copter crash kills 3 officers


Kolkata—Three army officers were killed Wednesday after their five-seater Cheetah helicopter crashed while landing in eastern India, a defence official said.
Another officer was seriously injured in the crash that occurred in a military camp in West Bengal’s Sukna district, a spokeswoman of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command said.
“The helicopter was on a routine mission. It crashed near the helipad inside the army base as it was trying to land,” Dipannita Dhar told AFP by telephone.
The Cheetah helicopters, commissioned by the Indian Air Force in the Seventies, are multi-role aircraft which are used mostly during high-altitude missions.
The IAF, which relies heavily on Russian-made equipment, has been blighted by a poor safety record. The Cheetahs have been built by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics under a licence agreement with French aerospace manufacturer Aerospatiale.—AFP