Thu, 03 Sep 2009 10:10:17 GMT

Other VIP crashes and the miraculous one

There have been a few helicopter and aircraft crashes involving VIPs. But the most miraculous escape was the one involving the late Prime Minister Morarji Desai.

The incident happened on November 4, 1977 when the Tu-124 jet, V-643 Pushpak, crash landed at Jorhat in Assam. The aircraft had taken off from Palam Airforce Station at 5.30 pm carrying Morarji Desai and others. Some two-and-a-hours later, the engine developed a snag and began flying dangerously low.

The pilots realised that the aircraft was about to crash and they took it to a paddy field and crashed in Tetlagon village by directing the nose of the aircraft first. The cockpit and the pilots took the maximum impact and saved the lives of Morarji Deasi and other VIPs.

A calm Morarji reportedly stepped out of the aircraft, inspected the wreckage and tried to find out the fate of the pilots and walked to a nearby village to seek help.

Five of IAF'S elite Communication Squadron made the supreme sacrifice in saving the life of then Prime Minister. The pilots were Wing Commander Clarence D'Lima, Wing Commander Joginder Singh, Squadron Leader Mathew Cyriac, Squadron Leader V V S Sankar Flight Lieutenant O P Arora. All of them were killed in the crash.

The other crashes:

Sept 30, 2001: Senior Congress leader from Rajasthan Madhavrao Scindia dies in a plane crash near Mota village in Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh. Bad weather conditions caused the crash.

March 3, 2002: GMC Balayogi, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, dies in a helicopter crash in Kaikalur in Andhra Pradesh. His chopper went down into a pond after it developed technical snag and its blades hit an overhead wire.

March 31, 2005: O P Jindal dies in a helicopter crash at Menghi village in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Cause: Engine malfunction.

Source: India Syndicate

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