Bengaluru, May 15: The desi chopper from the hangars of Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd -- the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Drhuv -- seems to have won many hearts in the quake-hit Nepal.
With its versatile mission parameters and ability to be a useful platform for high-altitude missions (in the 5.5. tone class), Dhriv has time and again proved its mettle.
On May 14 the Dhruv crew evacuated two French trekkers along with eight Nepalese citizens from a remote place Machhakhola of Gorkha district yesterday. They were stuck for 17 days following the quake.
Army said that the French citizens Ingrid and Julien were trekking in central Nepal's tranquil Gorkha district when the 7.9-magnitude quake struck on April 15.
Interesting the Army got to know about the trekkers through a series of inputs received through a local journalist.
"The trekkers have been safely brought to Pokhara on Thursday. The Dhruv was flown by Lt Col Kaushik and Maj Danesh.
Pilots operating through penetrable patches
Army sources told OneIndia that it was virtually a daredevil operation undertaken by the Dhruv to rescue the trekkers.
"While returning to Pokhara, the same helicopter flew via Singla village to evacuate a 82 year old lady who was seriously ill," a spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that low clouds, poor visibility, strong winds and rainfall are posing a challenge to the operations.
"The pilots are finding penetrable patches in the weather to carry out their mission," he added.
IAF continues with the mission
The Indian Air Force (IAF) on the other hand is continuing with its relief and rescue operations in Nepal.
IAF Spokesperson Wing Commander Rochelle D'Silva told OneIndia that the IAF crew operated extensively in the worst-hit areas in the past few days.
She said casualty evacuations have been carried in Chautara, Charkot, Dhading, Melum, Lukla, Aroghat, Dhunche, Trishuli, Ramchap, Barpak, Narayan Chor, Namchi Bazar and Tatopani.
"Around 46 sorties were carried out by helicopters evacuating 114 people to safer places and 51 casualties were also evacuated. The load carried by these helicopters till May 14 was 07.25 tonnes," the spokesperson said.