The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry (COI) to ascertain the cause of the accident. The sources said the aircraft toppled while the pilots tried to force land it on an uneven field. The helicopter was on a routine training sortie from Bamrauli airport, near Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
The Army has been planning to phase out the ageing fleet of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, which has claimed several lives over the past few years. The Ministry of Defence has been trying to procure new helicopters.
Reports of Airbus Helicopters (a unit of Airbus Group) in talks with Mahindra and Mahindra, Reliance Industries and Tata Group to jointly make military helicopters for India's armed forces, emerged in 2015.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" initiative, India scrapped the planned acquisition of 197 light utility helicopters in 2014, in order to launch a new competition reserved for domestic companies and form joint ventures with foreign suppliers.
In October 1, 2015, a Cheetah belonging to the Army Aviation crashed in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly district, leading to the death of two pilots and an engineer.
(With Agency Inputs)