Indian Air Force chief Rakesh Kumar Bhadauria on Friday admitted that the Mi-17 chopper crash on February 27, the same day as the dogfight between Pakistani and Indian jets, was a “big mistake” on part of the force, reported Indian media.
The Mi-17 helicopter had crashed at Budgam, near Srinagar, and resulted in the deaths of six air force personnel. A surface-to-air missile of the Indian Air Force had brought down the Mi-17 aircraft, a high-level probe had concluded in August, according to The Hindu.
The Indian side had acknowledged the crash but initially made no mention of it in official statements. The Pakistani military, meanwhile, acknowledged the aerial battle over Nowshehra but said its fighters were not involved in the chopper incident.
“Mi17 V5 is one of the sturdiest choppers in service across the world and is not usually prone to technical faults of catastrophic nature,” Indian business newspaper The Economic Times had reported in March.