Bhutanese, Indian Army Pilot Die As Ageing Cheetah Jet Crashes In Bhutan

Two pilots from the Indian Army and the other one from the Royal Bhutan Army died in a helicopter crash in Bhutan on Friday. The single-engine Cheetah Helicopter of the Indian Army was on duty flying from Khirmu(Arunanchal Pradesh) to Yongfulla(Bhutan).


The pilot of the Indian Army who died has been identified as Lieutenant Colonel Rajneesh Parmar while the Bhutanese pilot, training with the Indian Army, was identified as Captain Kalzang Wangdi.

The chopper belonged to Indian Army’s 667 Army Aviation Squadron based in Misamari in Assam. The chopper was returning after dropping an Indian Army Major General posted with Indian Army Military Training Team deployed in Bhutan.

As a part of the arrangement between Indian and Bhutan, Bhutanese pilots have been training with the Indian Army since 2014-15.

Cheetahs are 1960 vintage planes which have been in the Indian Army for the last over 40 years and several attempts to replace them have failed due to one reason or the other.

“In an unfortunate incident, an Indian Army Helicopter has crashed at 1 pm near Yongphulla in Bhutan. The helicopter went out of radio and visual contact soon after 1 pm. The helicopter was on way from Khirmu (Arunanchal) to Yongphulla on duty,” said Army Spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand