Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 26 (ANI): An ALH Dhruv Mark 3 helicopter of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) met with an accident during trials in which all three crew are safe after which an inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
The Dhruv chopper fleet of the Indian Coast Guard and Navy are already grounded for checks after a Navy chopper ditched off the Mumbai coast on March 8.
"CG 855 an ALH Mk III based at Kochi got airborne from Cochin International Airport at about 1225 h for inflight checks after fitment of control rods on aircraft," ICG said in a statement.
"Prior to the inflight checks, the HAL and ICG Team had carried out extensive and satisfactory ground trials today itself," they added.
"Immediately after takeoff, when the chopper was at about 30-40 feet above the ground, the cyclic controls (which controls longitudinal and lateral movement of aircraft) did not respond," the officials said.
"Showing exemplary professionalism and presence of mind, the pilot with bare minimum controls manoeuvred the aircraft away from the main runway to avoid blocking the runway at the international airport," the ICG said.
"The pilot thereafter cushioned the landing to the extent possible in order to save the three souls onboard. The aircraft veered to the left and crashed onto the left side of the main runway," ICG said.
"All crew are safe. The aircraft has sustained damage to its rotors and airframe. The Indian Coast Guard has ordered an Inquiry, to investigate the cause of the accident," ICG further added.
The Cochin International Airport authority informed that the airport operations have been temporarily suspended after the incident. (ANI)