31 May : Indian Air Force helicopters have wound-up rescue and relief operations in West Bengal that began on May 26, from Barrackpore.
IAF pressed into service two Mi-17 helicopters from Eastern Air Command airbases to undertake relief and rescue operations in the aftermath of the devastating cyclone – Aila – that hit the State in the last week of May.
The helicopters were mainly used for airlifting food supplies, medicines and water to the areas which were totally cut off from mainland. On their return leg they brought back the sick and injured to safer areas.
During the operations, 36 sorties and 50 hours were flown by the IAF Mi-17s. In all, a total of 71.64 tonnes of relief material and 25 passengers were airlifted. The relief operations finally got over on Saturday.