Two Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters have successfully evacuated a civilian aircraft, which had recently crashed at the Kedarnath helipad at an altitude of 11,500 feet.
"On October 26, Mi 17 V5 helicopters of Indian Air Force were tasked to undertake a very challenging task of evacuating a crashed aircraft of UT Air Private limited from high altitude region of Kedarnath," an IAF spokesperson said on Sunday.
The aircraft had crashed at the helipad near the Kedarnath shrine a few days back.
"On the dawn of Saturday, the two helicopters were pressed into action, with one of them tasked to provide logistical support and the other for extricating the downed civilian aircraft by carrying it underslung," the spokesperson said.
The crashed aircraft was hooked below one of the IAF helicopters and flown back through the narrow valley to Sahastradhara near Dehradun.
#WATCH On 26 October, Mi 17 V5 helicopters of Indian Air Force evacuated a crashed aircraft of UT Air Pvt limited at 11500 feet at Kedarnath helipad. The helicopter was flown to Sahastradhara near Dehradun #Uttarakhand pic.twitter.com/fgoOxKIMSr— ANI (@ANI) October 27, 2019
With only foot track connectivity to Kedarnath, it was not feasible to transport the wreckage to a lower region.
The company had requested the IAF, through Uttarakhand civil administration, to render assistance in the evacuation of the crashed aircraft before the closure of Kedarnath shrine at the end of this month.
The spokesperson said that the safe evacuation of the crashed aircraft is a testimony to the responsiveness of the IAF in support of the civilian administration and the skill of IAF aircrew.