Two pilots, a Royal Bhutan Army officer, Captain Kelzang Wangdi, and an Indian army officer, Lt. Colonel Rajneesh Parmar were killed on the spot, when the helicopter they were flying crashed near Khengthongmani in Yonphula, Trashigang, yesterday afternoon.
The single-engine Indian Army Cheetah helicopter crashed into the face of a cliff on the Trashigang-Samdrupjongkar highway near Khengthongmani around 1pm. Bad weather, which reduced visibility is said to have caused the accident. They were approaching the Yonphula airport to land when the accident occurred. It flew from Khirmu in Arunachal Pradesh.
Sources in Trashigang said the helicopter was on its way to pick up the Commander of the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT) who was in Yonphula. Cheetahs are 1960 vintage planes which have been in the Indian army for the last 40 years.
It was learnt that Captain Kalzang Wangdi, 38, who is a trained helicopter pilot, was on an attachment with Army Aviation in India for the last one year. He is survived by his wife and a four-year-old son.