Two Pakistan Army Aviation Pilots martyred as helicopter crashes in Siachen

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The martyred pilots were Major Irfan Bercha and Major Raja Zeeshan Jahanzeb, the ISPR said.

By Naveed Siddiqui

Two pilots embraced martyrdom after a Pakistan Army aviation helicopter crashed at Siachen in Gilgit-Baltistan’s (GB) Ghanche district, according to a statement issued by the military’s media affairs wing on Monday.

The martyred pilots were Major Irfan Bercha and Major Raja Zeeshan Jahanzeb, the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) said, adding that search and rescue helicopters and army troops had reached the site of the accident following the crash.

The ISPR did not give a reason for the accident. Separately, GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan issued a statement, expressing grief over the incident and extending his condolences to the families of the martyred pilots.

Two similar incidents of aircraft crashes were reported in August this year. However, no loss of life was reported following either of the incidents. The first incident had taken place near Attock in Punjab when a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter trainer aircraft had crashed during a routine training mission on August 6.

According to a statement issued by a PAF spokesperson at the time, both the pilots had ejected from the jet successfully and no loss of life or property was reported on the ground.

Few days later on August 12, a Mushshak aircraft had crash-landed in the fields of Chammala village near Jhelum due to a technical failure and both the pilots inside the aircraft had received minor injuries.