The sentinel

Sanjay Gandhi, Madhavrao Scindia, YSR — some prominent Indians who died in air crashes

Dec 9, 2021
An Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter with Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 12 others including crew on board, crashed near Coonoor in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, 8th December 2021. A few hours later, the IAF confirmed in a tweet from its official handle that Gen. Rawat, his wife and 11 others had died in the crash.
Sanjay Gandhi, the Congress leader and son of Indira Gandhi, was killed in an air crash in June 1980 while flying a Pitts S-2A aircraft in Delhi. Sanjay Gandhi held both a commercial pilot’s licence and an instructor’s rating, while his brother Rajiv, who later became PM, was an Indian Airlines pilot.
Another senior Congressman who lost his life in an air crash was Madhav Rao Scindia, father of the current Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. The senior Scindia was on the way to Kanpur in a chartered flight in September 2001, and died when it crashed near a village in Bhogaon tehsil of Mainpuri district of central Uttar Pradesh
Telugu Desam Party leader and Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi died in a helicopter crash in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh on 3 March 2002, caused by a technical issue.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy died in an air crash involving a twin-engined Bell 430 helicopter in the Nallamala Hills of Andhra Pradesh in September 2009. The inquiry into the crash later revealed that the helicopter was not “air-worthy” and poor judgments were made by the pilots.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu died in a helicopter crash in May 2011 in a remote village in the state about 30 km away from Tawang near the India-China border. Khandu’s body was found five days later, after intense search and rescue operations.
Noted industrialist and Haryana power minister O.P. Jindal was killed in a helicopter crash while on his way to Chandigarh from Delhi in 2005. Along with Jindal, state agriculture minister and former CM Bansi Lal’s son Surender Singh also died in the same crash.