Both the pilots died in the crash.
"Had the pilots bailed out immediately after noticing
fault in rotor blades, they would have saved their own lives,
but the helicopter would have certainly crashed into a densely
populated area, killing many more," he said.
The pilots -- Major Atul Garje and Captain Bhanu
Pratap Gupta -- averted a major tragedy, by steering the
helicopter towards a vacant plot of land, he said.
Major Garje hailed from Pathardi tehsil in Ahmednagar
district and was an alumnus of Sainik School, Satara. He was
blessed with a daughter a few months ago.
The pilots almost managed an emergency landing before
the rotor blade of the helicopter hit the terrace of a
bungalow, the official said.
Nashik: The presence of mind shown by the
two pilots of an Army helicopter which crashed here today in a
residential area may have saved many lives, a police official
First Published: Wednesday, February 02, 2011, 18:34