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India's Dhruv Helo Records Fifth Crash

Five Onboard Test Flight Expected To Survive

An indigenously-developed multi-role helicopter in India has suffered what that nation's News X Live online service says is the fifth crash in the program's troubled development. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Dhruv went down Sunday at the Mana Airport in Chhattisgarh's Raipur district. The Times of India reports two pilots and three technicians onboard were transported to Ramkrishna Hospital, where all were expected to survive, but the pilot was initially listed in serious condition.

There's no indication on possible cause so far. The Dhruv was first announced in 1984, but changing military priorities and US sanctions on India following a nuclear test in 1998 are cited as factors delaying the helicopter's development. It entered service in 2002 with the Indian Armed Forces, and is also available in civilian trim.

The aircraft involved in Sunday's mishap was reportedly operated by India's Border Security Force, and was engaged in a test flight.

FMI: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmlrb9mOYT0

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