IAF’s Apache helicopter makes emergency landing in Ladakh; both pilots safe

On April 3, 2024, an Indian Air Force AH-64 Apache helicopter carried out a precautionary landing during an operational training sortie in Ladakh AOR.

During the process of this landing, it sustained damage due to undulating terrain and high altitude, said IAF in a statement.

“Both the pilots on board are safe and have been recovered to the nearest airbase.

A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause,” it added.

What is Precautionary Landing?

Precautionary landing means there could have been some minor issues. And the aircraft was landed as a precaution, explained a former pilot.

Last year in May Air Force’s Apache Helicopter had made `Precautionary Landing’ in Madhya Pradesh.

Meanwhile …

According to reports in the public domain, the US Army is facing concerns over the safety of its Apache helicopter fleet due to recent crashes. Four crashes occurred within two months, prompting investigations.

In the latest incident near Fort Carson, Colorado, on March 27, an AH-64 Apache crashed during a routine training exercise, with minor injuries to the pilots. As a precaution, all aviation assets at Fort Carson are grounded.

In February, accidents involving Army National Guard AH-64D Apaches occurred, including a fatal crash in Mississippi and a crash in Utah where both pilots survived.

These incidents led to the grounding of National Guard helicopter units for safety reviews.

With over 700 Apaches assigned to active-duty units and elements of the Army National Guard, ensuring their safety is crucial. Investigations continue, with pressure on the Army to address underlying issues and prevent further accidents.

India Watching

India, which also operates Apache helicopters, may face similar challenges.

As reported previously in Financial Express Online, the IAF has 22 Apaches deployed across the eastern and western fronts, with six AH-64Es on order.

Recently, the Indian Army has established its first squadron of Apache helicopters in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, to support operations along the Pakistan border.

However, technical issues with the Apache, such as electrical power generator failures leading to cockpit smoke accumulation, pose risks.

The US Army is addressing these issues, but they could potentially affect all Apaches, including those operated by India.

Operational challenges, such as vibrations in the Russian Ka-52, also impact helicopter performance.

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/business/defence-iafs-apache-helicopters-precautionary-landing-raises-safety-concerns-amid-global-attention-3446303/