IAF Helicopter saves German national from Nun Peak in Ladakh
Indian Air Force Helicopter once again proved their mettle and evacuated German national Dr Steger Helmut Otto, who was a part of a mountaineering expedition consisting of Swiss and German nationals, from the higher reaches of Himalayan ranges, from a camp on the slopes of Nun Peak, 7135Mts is one of the highest in the Ladakh region.
According to sources,on the evening of 18 Aug 12 the Leh based IAF Helicopter Unit, nicknamed "Siachen Pioneers", received a request for casualty evacuation from the mountaineering team attempting to climb the Nun peak. The team feared to have lost two of its guides in an avalanche and one member of the team was gravely injured, just few hundred feet away from the summit.
A two-helicopter rescue team got airborne at 0545 hrs on 19 August. The rescue team was led by the Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr UKS Bhadauria himself and included Wg Cdr PS Babu, Wg CdrAS Rajput and Sqn Ldr AK Bharmoria.
Expecting the elevations to be in excess of 21000 ft, the helicopters reached the expedition site area. The team soon realized that coordinates provided were grossly out from the actual location
The helicopter formation picked up the location of the casualty at one of the camps by following the snow trail and proceeded for landing at that the camp site. This called for the Captain, WgCdr UKS Bhadauria to put to fore his extensive flying experience in manoeuvring the aircraft so as to carry out the landing at 19000 feet on an unprepared and snow covered surface.
In the meanwhile, the second helicopter Captained by Wg Cdr AS Rajput maintained a close vigil from the top and continued orbiting overhead and monitored the situation, to ensure the safety of both the casualty and the machine.
After picking up the casualty who had survived a fall of approximately 300 feet at the summit and was stuck on his fixed rope with few broken ribs and head injury, the formation set course and landed back atLeh at 0845h.
Continuing with the Unit tradition, the "Siachen Pioneers"crew displayed highest level of professionalism, courage daring without fearing for his or her own safety, leading to successful completion of the mercy mission which was more than evident from the convincing smile of the survivor, Dr Steger Helmut Otto.
(With inputs from PIB)
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