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Indian Army Cheetah helicopter crashes in Bhutan, killing pilots

An Indian military helicopter on a training mission in Bhutan crashed on Friday, September 27, killing two pilots, India’s army said.

The single-engine Cheetah helicopter was on its way from Khirmu in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh to Yongphulla in Bhutan.

One of the pilots who died was from the Indian Army while the other was from the Royal Bhutan Army.

The Cheetah belonged to the Indian Army’s 667 Army Aviation Squadron based in Misamari in Assam, Economic Times reported.

“Ground search and rescue were launched immediately from Yongphulla. The wreckage has been located,” the Indian Army said in a statement.

Bhutanese pilots have been training with the Indian military since 2014 as a part of an arrangement between the two countries.

Cheetahs are Indian-licensed versions of the Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama helicopter and have been in the Indian Army for decades despite their poor safety record.

In 2016, three Indian army officers were killed when a Cheetah helicopter crashed in West Bengal state.

Another three officers lost their lives in 2014 in a similar incident involving a Cheetah in northern Uttar Pradesh.

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With reporting from AFP

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