Wing Commander Mandeep Singh Dhillon on July 4 died in a helicopter crash while rescuing people stuck between massive landslides and torrential rains in Arunachal Pradesh. The situation in the area worsens every year but this year it went beyond that and that is why the Indian Air Force had to intervene to save people’s lives. Commander Mandeep Singh Dhillon was on a landslide-hit evacuation mission in Arunachal Pradesh jungles. The Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv was used for the rescue operation between Sagalee to Naharlagun with Wing Commander Dhillon and his co-pilot Flight Lieutenant PK Singh along with a flight engineer and a policeman from Arunachal Pradesh on board. The rescue helicopter had already saved 169 people in five sorties and it was on its sixth sortie to the Sagalee village when the weather worsened and the unfortunate incident took place.
Taking the weather into consideration, the crew onboard the helicopter decided not to risk any civilian life in danger and it took off without them. Within seconds, the ground station lost contact with them. It was found later that the helicopter had crashed and all the four people on board the helicopter had lost their lives.
Wing Commander Mandeep Singh Dhillon is survived by his wife, daughter and son. His helicopter unit was stationed to secure the border with China in western Arunachal Pradesh and also to carry out rescue missions in rough terrain. A senior IAF officer said, “Wing Commander Dhillon has 18 years of experience. He has flown in many difficult terrains and has been part of challenging missions. He was arguably one of the finest helicopter pilots. From icy mountains to the jungles of Arunachal Pradesh, he volunteered to go on any mission,” as quoted in an NDTV report.