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IAF helicopter unit evacuates casualty from Tibba cave in Zanskar valley

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The Siachen Pioneers-114 helicopter unit (HU) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) based at Leh, carried out a daring casualty evacuation (casevac) in Tibba cave in the far-flung reaches of the Zanskar valley in the Ladakh sector yesterday.
 
The casualty was part of the “Chadar Trek” organised over the frozen Zanskar river, a press release from the Ministry of Defence said today.
 
Inspite of the short notice, the crew got airborne within 40 minutes of the receipt of the message. 
 
According to the release, the mission in a highly inaccessible area called for a two-helicopter mission. This way if one helicopter went down, the other was available for support.
 
As the coordinates for the site were not available due to poor communication, the aircrew was faced with the daunting task of searching for the casualty in the icy mountains and crevices of the Zanskar Valley. 
 
Once they located the casualty, the Captain, Wing Commander Khan realised that the landing would be an arduous and dangerous task due to the terrain in the narrow valley on an unprepared surface.
 
Undeterred and in keeping with the motto of the unit-“We do the difficult as routine, the impossible only takes a little longer”, the crew displayed exceptional skill in manoeuvring the aircraft in an extremely tight space and landed the helicopter on a rocky outcrop next to a river in between the steep mountains.
 
All this while, the second helicopter gave airborne support. The casualty was successfully evacuated and brought to Leh, the release said.
 
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