cheetah helicopter crash india arunachal
A pilot and co-pilot died after their Cheetah helicopter flying on an operational sortie crashed. The wreckage of the aircraft was found near Village Banglajaap East of Mandala on Thursday, March 16, 2023. Image Credit: ANI

Itanagar: Two pilots who were missing after an Army chopper crashed in Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday have died, an official said.

“With regret we inform that the pilot and the co-pilot of the helicopter lost their lives in the accident,” Army PRO Lt. Col. Mahendra Rawat told IANS.

The deceased were identified as Lt. Col. VVB Reddy and Major Jayanth A.

Five search parties of the Indian Army, SSB and ITBP were immediately launched after the news of the crash emerged.

The wreckage of the helicopter was found near Banglajaap village, near Bomdila.

“A Court of Inquiry is being ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” Rawat added.

Meanwhile, army sources said that local villagers discovered that the crashed chopper caught fire and they informed the police.

The visibility in the area was very poor due to inclement weather, which may be the reason behind the crash.

The Cheetah helicopter that was on an operational sortie was reported to have lost contact with the Air Traffic Control at 9.15 a.m. on Thursday morning.