Helicopter crash in Rawat: IAF chief informs Rajnath of the investigation, probable reason for bad weather

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The helicopter crash in which the Chief of the Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others killed was caused by bad weather, sources told the Indian Express, even as senior IAF officials on Wednesday briefed Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on the findings of the investigation into the 8 December.

According to the sources, the investigation ruled out human error or a technical problem as well as sabotage as possible causes.

Although there is no official word yet on the results of the investigation, sources said the investigation revealed that the Mi-17v5 helicopter carrying General Rawat and others encountered inclement weather. sudden, which could have caused it to strike a surface before crashing into a forest near Coonoor. , Tamil Nadu.

The wreckage of the crashed IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, December 8, 2021 (PTI)

General Rawat was on his way to the Defense Services Staff College in Wellington with his wife Madhulika Rawat and a dozen service members when the helicopter crashed.

According to the sources, the helicopter was descending to land when it was suddenly taken in bad weather. They said Wellington is located in a topographic bowl and often has a light cover of fog.

The bad weather led to what is in aviation terms called Controlled Terrain Impact (CIFT), in which a pilot, who controls the aircraft, inadvertently strikes a surface.

CIFT is one of the leading causes of plane crashes in the world.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed on Wednesday by Air Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, who headed the investigation of the three services on the accident, on the conclusions of the investigation. The report of the investigation was submitted to Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari earlier.

Sources said a review of standard protocols for helicopters carrying senior military officials would likely be recommended.

A day after the accident, the Minister of Defense announced a three-service court of inquiry into the incident. The investigative team led by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, who is the commanding chief air officer of the training command, included a navy commodore-level helicopter pilot and an officer superior of the army at brigadier level.

Among other aspects, the probe team also examined the black box, which includes the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, which was recovered from the crash site.


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