An Mi-35 helicopter gunship of the Indian Air Force crashed while on a military exercise in Suratgarh, Rajasthan late on Friday night. All three crew were reported safe.
The gunship was taking off from a makeshift helipad on a night-flying mission when it crashed. The Mi-35 was part of an ongoing Exercise Brahmashira being undertaken by the Ambala-based 2 Corps. The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry.
The IAF operates two squadrons of the Russian-built Mi-25 and Mi-35 attack helicopters used to destroy enemy battle tanks, fortifications and transport special forces. Crashes of the helicopter are rare. The last reported Mi-35 crash was in Patnitop in Jammu on August 1, 1991.
Photo of the crash site: