Telangana's Lt Col Vinay Bhanu Reddy, die in helicopter crash

HYDERABAD: In a tragic incident, Cheetah helicopter crashed in Arunachal Pradesh, killing 2 army pilots. Lt Col Reddy and co-pilot Major Jayanth died in an Army helicopter crash near Mandala in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday, March 16. The single-engine, multi-role Cheetah helicopter crashed during an operational sortie between Missamari in Assam's Sonitpur and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

The accident has raised worries about the safety of the ageing helicopters, which have a troubling safety record. The Army Aviation helicopter lost contact with air traffic controllers at 9:15 am and crashed in a mountainous area near Mandala, north-west of the 8,000-foot pass Bomdila. The helicopter had departed from the army's Missamari base in Assam for an operational sortie a few hours earlier.

Lieutenant Colonel Vijay Bhanu Reddy's mortal remains were brought to his home in Malkajgiri in Hyderabad on Saturday after receiving full military honours in Hyderabad.

"In appreciation for the officer's tireless devotion to the country, the wreath was laid on behalf of a grateful nation. Moving the deceased remains to Lt Col VVB Reddy's home in Malkajgiri, Hyderabad ", the officials said.

Brig K Somashankar, Officiating General Officer Commanding, Telangana and Andhra Sub Area and father of Lt Col Vijay Bhanu Reddy, laid the wreath while receiving the mortal remains of the officer, stated officials.

Lt Col. Reddy, who gave his life in the line of duty on March 16 while on an operational sortie in Arunachal Pradesh, was remembered at Hyderabad with full military honours.

Lt Col Reddy is survived by wife Spandana, who is a dentist in the Army, and two daughters aged 6 and 6. Spandana is a dentist working in Armed Forces Medical College in Pune. She has left for Tezpur to receive the body of her husband.

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