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Fact Check

Old Image Of IAF’s Mi-17 Helicopter From Arunachal Pradesh Resurfaced With False Claims: Fact-Check 

An outdated photo of a crashed helicopter was circulated along with a false report that an Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 carrying Air Marshal Pankaj Mohan Sinha, the Commander of the Western Air Command of the IAF, had crashed close to Mathura.

Verified accounts on twitter, including @IntelPk_ tweeted “#BREAKIBG:- Air Marshal Pankaj Mohan Sinha, Commander of Western Air Command in the #Indian Air Force, was on board an Mi-17V5 that crashed near Mathura. His condition remains unknown, and internet services in the area have been suspended. FPhoto: #India” on Jan 17, 2024. The tweet has received an about 138.2k views on X. The user also made the same claim in another tweet on the same day.

Several other accounts, including @WorldTimesWT, @TelegraphPak, @FierceDragons, @SeemabA04876927, @Sardaarr786, @AtiqueUR_Rehman, @Saju__302, @WorldNewsHubWNH made the same claim that near Mathura, an Indian Air Force helicopter crashed who was carrying Air Marshal Pankaj Mohan Sinha, the Commander of the IAF’s Western Air Command. The archive can be read from above.

What is the Actual Truth About this Incident? : Fact

The image in question is actually of an Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopter that crashed in November 2021 while landing at Rochham Helipad in Arunachal Pradesh. Every crew member and officer was safe. There haven’t been any such helicopter accidents lately.

We visited The Arunachal Times, which published an article regarding the original helicopter crash accident on Nov 19, 2021 with the headline “IAF’s Mi-17 helicopter crash-lands at Rochham”. This shows that the incident is not recent at all. We further went to the The Economic Times, which also posted regarding the incident on Nov 18, 2021 with the headline “IAF helicopter crashes in Arunachal Pradesh”. The same viral image can also be seen in the article.

D-Intent’s Fact-Checking Results:


ISPR funded Pakistani propaganda accounts are circulating old images with misleading claims just to divert ongoing topic of #Iran strikes militant group Jaish al-Adl bases in Pakistan. An old image of a crashed helicopter being shared with a misleading claim that An Mi-17V5 of the Indian Air Force carrying the Commander of Western Air Command of IAF, Air Marshal Pankaj Mohan Sinha has crashed near Mathura. The image depicts an Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopter that crashed in November 2021 while landing at Rochham Helipad in Arunachal Pradesh. Every officer and crew member was secure. Such a helicopter accident has not happened recently.


Fact : The fact is that this image is of a MI- 17 helicopter of Indian air force , which crashed during landing at Rochham helipad in Arunachal Pradesh in November 2021. All Officers and crew members were safe. Recently no such Helicopter accident occurred.

Also Read : Israel-Palestine Conflict — Iran Limits Indian Activities On its Chabahar Port? Fact-Check 

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