Air Force’s Chinook Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing In Punjab’s Barnala

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Air Force's Chinook Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing In Punjab

The reason behind the “technical snag” is unknown.

A Chinook helicopter of the Indian Air Force made a precautionary landing following a “technical snag” near Punjab’s Barnala on Sunday, police said.

The helicopter, which was on a routine flying sortie, landed in an open field and the crew and the chopper are safe and a recovery team has reached the site, air force officials said. The reason behind the “technical snag” is unknown and will be determined in an enquiry by the Indian Air Force.

In 2022, the US Army grounded its Chinook fleet over engine fires. Boeing’s India chief, Salil Hupte, said the Chinooks operated by the Indian Air Force do not have any problems and said “there is no impact on the helicopter operated by the Indian forces”.

The Indian Air Force had sought details from Boeing, the manufacturer of Chinook, about the reasons behind the grounding of the US Army’s entire fleet of Chinook helicopters.

Chinooks have served the US Army during its operation in Vietnam, the first, and second Gulf Wars and its operations in the Middle East.

Chinook’s Operational Capability

The Indian fleet of Chinook choppers is based out of Chandigarh for operations in the north while another unit is located in Assam for taking care of the northeastern areas.

The Ch47 Chinook Helicopters are heavy-lift helicopters of the Indian Air Force for strategic airlift and humanitarian efforts. The choppers were formally inducted into the force in 2019 at the Indian Air Force station in Chandigarh and the remaining 11 were delivered next year.

The tandem-rotor design of the Chinook makes it a preferred choice for transporting troops and heavy cargo at high altitudes. It can transport tanks, relief aid and even artillery in underslung operations.

The tandem rotor design of the Chinook provides increased stability and control, maximum agility, ease of loading and unloading and superior performance in the wind. The blades rotate in opposite directions to cancel out the torque generated by a blade and neutralize the yawing of the helicopter. In single-rotor helicopters, a tail rotor is used to counter the torque.

The chopper will spin on its vertical axis if the torque is not neutralised, resulting in a crash.

The chopper has a service ceiling (height up to which it can fly) of 20,000 feet and Boeing says it’s the only helicopter of this class to do it.

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