IAF 'evacuates' helicopter amid landslide warning in Uttarakhand

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) After evacuating over one lakh people stranded in flash-flood hit Uttarakhand, Indian Air Force pilots (IAF) "rescued" a helicopter parked at a helipad in Gauchar Thursday night.

The pilots were woken up by frantic whistles warning of a landslide and everyone was asked to vacate the area.

They realised that their helicopter, an ALH MK I, was likely to get damaged by the landslide. The only alternative was to fly it out by night in the drizzle and poor weather, a defence ministry release said.

Although the next safe place in Gauchar was just five minutes away, there were no night aids, not even basic airfield lighting. However, the pilots landed the chopper safely at Gauchar.

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