Altair wrote:My friend, AEW&CS can track not just aircraft. It can track any inclement weather approaching also. Besides, there is no inclement weather either in Kargil or Skardu. There is no wind or heavy snow. There is just some rain and the visibility is 10 KM. That is good enough for helicopter travel.
You make it seem that there was some freak weather phenomenon which led to this situation - which needed to big enough to show up on the terminals of AWACS. And this is Himalayas we're taking about - where the weather can change in a matter of minutes. The weather in one valley can vary drastically from the next. There are so many localized phenomenon that no about computer power can second guess these. As for your comment on 10kms of visibility and clear weather - at what altitutes, may I ask? To me, it seems like met readout for airlines. Will it be applicable for helicopter flying? For example, the valley floor in the region is between 2,800 -3,000 meters i.e ~9,000 - 10,000 feet and peaks and rigdes at 12,000 - 15,000 feet. Now, as per the reports, the chopper was carrying 4 personnel. Considering a per person load of ~80kgs, how high do you think a Cheetah with 320kg load go in this region?
Read this small but interesting page on mountain flying: http://www.chinook-helicopter.com/news/Afghanistan/high_altitude_flight.pdf
As per one pakistan news report, the chopper landed in Olthinthang. The same is opposite Kargil along the Suru river. Please see the map here (this is terrain map - shows the elevation in the region): http://wikimapia.org/#lat=34.7228495&lon=76.2331009&z=13&l=0&m=t
If you observe the map, Olthinthang is pretty close to LoC.