This is the shocking moment an Indian military helicopter dropping cans of fuel into a remote mountainous region crashed after the parachute attached to the cargo got tangled into the aircraft’s tail rotor.
A video shows the moment the crew start delivering the cargo. The first couple of pallets safely exit the Russian-built Mi-17 V5 helicopter as it supplied a border post in the mountainous district of Tawang near the border with Tibet, some 17,000 feet above sea level.
As the third package leaves the aircraft, the helicopter’s tail suddenly pitches down. The aircraft rapidly loses altitude before it goes out of shot. The person filming the incident dropped his camera before the aircraft exploded.
The Indian Air Force helicopter was dropping cargo to a remote border post 17,000 feet above sea level when it crashed killing all seven people on board. Pallets containing kerosene were thrown from the aircraft with a parachute to slow their descent onto the landing strip below
The crew successfully deploy two of the cargo pallet before throwing a third from the aircraft
The parachute of the third pallet is caught in the helicopter’s tail rotor sending it out of control
Five Indian Air Force (IAF) crew members and two army personnel were killed in the accident.
A military spokesman said: ‘;A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.’
Tawang is in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which is also claimed by China.
It is a strategically important border district and came briefly under Chinese control during the 1962 war between the neighbours.
The Mi-17 V5, which is mainly used for military transport, is produced by Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters.
India’s air force has a high rate of crashes owing to its ageing fleet. More than 170 pilots have lost their lives over the last three decades.
Most of the accidents involve Soviet-era MIG planes, earning them the sobriquet ‘flying coffins’.
In July an IAF chopper crashed in the same state, killing three crew members and a soldier. That advanced light helicopter was on a rescue mission during devastating floods when it crashed due to inclement weather.
Last year, a Russian-built AN-32 military transport plane went missing over the Bay of Bengal with 29 people on board.
And in 2013, all 20 people on board an army helicopter were killed when it crashed in northern India.
India, the world’s largest arms importer, has been trying to revamp its ageing and outdated military aircraft, with some of the fleet virtually on its last legs.
The country has been trying to develop its own warplanes but delays and technical shortcomings have marred progress.