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28 helicopters of Chengdu MAC fly to quake-hit areas

(China Military Online)

09:08, April 23, 2013

BEIJING, April 22, (ChinaMil) -- An army aviation brigade under the 13th Combined Corps of the Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) rapidly dispatched its helicopters to the quake-hit areas in the wake of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake which happened on April 20, 2013 in Lushan county of southwest China's Sichuan province. As of 20:00 on April 21, the army aviation brigade had dispatched a total of 28 helicopters carrying 873 rescuers and nearly 17 tons of disaster-relief materials, and evacuated 16 seriously-injured persons.

On the morning of April 20, the army aviation brigade immediately dispatched 4 helicopters to the earthquake-stricken areas for the disaster-situation investigation 20 minutes after being given the mission, and afterwards, sent helicopters off successively to transport rescuers and disaster-relief materials to all the quake-hit areas and evacuate seriously-injured persons.

In the past two days, the army aviation brigade has dispatched 119 pilots and 800-odd ground staff as well as 106 sorties of 28 helicopters in 12 batches to carry out relief work.

Wen Yinchuan, political commissar of the army aviation brigade, said that the complex terrain and the poor weather conditions of the quake-hit areas brought challenges to the landing of helicopters. "Some villages are located at the intersection of two mountains, featuring thick clouds, strong wind force and interlaced high-tension cables, which makes it difficult for the pilots to find proper landing places. The pilots had to overcome such unfavorable factors as limited visibility when carrying out rescue operations at night," said Wen Yinchuan.

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