Coast Guard chopper crash-lands at Kochi airport, one injured

Helicopter crashed in Nedumbassery | Photo: Josekutty Panackal / Manorama
The Coast Guard helicopter that skidded off the runway at Kochi airport being moved from the site of the accident using a crane. Photo: Josekutty Panackal/Manorama

Kochi: The runway at Nedumbassery airport was reopened after being shut for two hours following an accident involving a Coast Guard chopper on Sunday. 

The helicopter -- Coast Guard's Advanced Light Helicopter 'Dhruv' -- was preparing for a training flight when it crash-landed from a height of 150 feet right after take-off, before skidding off the runway. 

The chopper fell 5m from the main runway. The incident happened around 12.25 pm near the Coast Guard Air Station at the southern end of the airstrip. 

The chopper, piloted by Coast Guard Deputy Commandant Vipin, was on a training flight when the accident happened.

Vipin was accompanied by Comandant Kunal and technical staff  Sunil Totla. They pilot had to abandon the training and crash-land the chopper due to technical troubles. Sunil sustained minor injury in the accident. He was given emergency medical treatment and shifted to a hospital.

The helicopter was successfully moved from the site of the accident and flight services resumed only after safety checks were completed.

Flight services were suspended for two hours. Four flight, including two international flights, that were supposed to land in Kochi were diverted to Thiruvananthapuram and Coimbatore airports following the accident.

The Coast Gard has announced an inquiry into the accident. In its preliminary report, Coast Guard said the  accident was caused due to the faults to the cyclic controls that regulate chopper's forward, backward and sideway movements.

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