The unfortunate crash of the Indian Airforce Chopper in the Nilgiris is not the first instance of its kind. Several notable personalities and hundreds of Indian Armed Forces personnel and politicians have lost their lives in helicopter crashes in the past.
General Bipin Rawat survived his first face-off with death in a chopper crash as a Lieutenant General; he was not as lucky the second time around. He was reportedly rescued alive but succumbed on the way to the hospital. While General Rawat's sudden demise sent shockwaves across the country, it might be time to look back at similar instances where India has lost many of its own.
Previous Instances of Chopper Crashes
Sanjay Gandhi, the son of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was killed in a chopper crash in June 1980 while flying a Pitts S-2A aircraft in Delhi. Gandhi held a Pilot's license and an instructor's license. While Gandhi was alive, he was widely expected to succeed his mother as the Prime Minister; however, his brother Rajiv Gandhi ascended the post following his early demise.
Madhavrao Scindia, a senior Congressman, experienced a similar fate while he was on a chartered flight in September 2001 in Kanpur. Scindia was the son of the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Madhya Pradesh. Another incident involved former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in a twin-engined Bell 430 helicopter crash in the Nallamala Hills of Andhra Pradesh in September 2009. The inquiry that followed the crash revealed that the helicopter was not airworthy, and the pilots had made poor decisions.
The above mentioned are only some of the notable personalities that we have lost in the past decades. However, several military personnel and citizens fall prey to such incidents. Therefore, it might be the right time for the people in power to inquire and investigate the reasons for such helicopter crashes.