At 11,500 Feet, Air Force Chopper’s Daring Op Near Amarnath Shrine

The chopper manoeuvered through the valley that lies in the vicinity of the holy Amarnath shrine.

New Delhi:

In a complex underslung operation at 11,500 feet, a Mi-17 V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force successfully airlifted a stranded civilian helicopter from the Panchtarni helipad near the Amarnath shrine in Jammu and Kashmir.

The dramatic visual of the helicopter airlifting a helicopter shared by the Indian Air Force shows the Mi-17 transport helicopter lifting the underslung damaged chopper from the helipad and manoeuvered through the valley that lies in the vicinity of the holy Amarnath shrine.

The operation could allow a very little margin of error since a heavy load, the As-350 helicopter, was attached to the air force chopper.

The Mi-17 navigated through steep mountains on either side and successfully carried out the operation.

The crew displayed immaculate planning, systematic preparation and exceptional flying skills, the Indian Air Force said.

The Panchtarni helipad is now open to ferry pilgrims after being blocked because of the damaged chopper. It was airlifted to the Neelgrar helipad by the air force.

The annual Amarnath Yatra began on July 1. The 62-day pilgrimage will culminate on August 31. The pilgrims travel through two traditional routes — Baltal and Pahalgam.

In 2019, the air force carried out a similar operation in Kedarnath, where two Mi-17 V5s airlifted a crashed private chopper from the Kedarnath helipad, located at 11,500 feet.

Whether troops have to be airlifted to a battlefield or stranded civilians have to be evacuated, the Mi-17 V5 forms the backbone of the air force’s major operations.

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