‘Out of box thinking applied for rescue ops in Uttarakhand’

The IAF pilots have clocked close to 1,700 sorties in this operation.

Gauchar: The Indian Air Force (IAF), which has undertaken its biggest ever helicopter operation for rescue and relief in Uttarakhand, had to think "out of the box" many times while flying in the difficult terrain and weather conditions in the state, a top official on Wednesday said.

"We had to innovate and improvise and think out of the box many a times when we flew sorties here. Weather conditions and hilly terrain are very challenging for the operations," Air Vice Marshal SRK Nair said when he was asked about the challenges his pilots and men were facing while carrying out rescue missions in the state.

Nair, the chief of IAF`s helicopter and transportation wing, had reached the airbase here yesterday after a Mi-17 V5 crashed in the Garhwal ranges near Gaurikund.

"There are so many things to learn from this operation in terms of operating in such tough situations. When we go into the debriefing of this operation we will talk about these lessons," Nair said.

The top IAF commander said it would take about "four more clear flying days" to culminate the operations.

The IAF pilots have clocked close to 1,700 sorties in this operation.

Badrinath and Harsil are now the thrust areas for us and we are flying as many sorties as we could, he said.

Nair also briefed IAF Chief Air Marshal NAK Browne here at the helipad about the operations being initiated from here.


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