The preliminary findings by the inquiry team who are investigating the chopper crash which killed Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others said that it was a pilot error.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Friday that it was a mechanical failure, sabotage, or negligence as a cause of the accident. As per the IAF, the unfortunate accident was a result of the pilot’s error when clouds entered due to an unexpected change in weather.
“Tri-Services Court of Inquiry into the Mi-17 V5 accident on 08 Dec 21 (which killed CDS Rawat and others) in its preliminary findings analysed Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder; has ruled out mechanical failure, sabotage or negligence as a cause of the accident,” said IAF in a statement.
Giving its findings on reasons behind the crash, the Tri-Service report said, “The accident was a result of entry into clouds due to unexpected change in weather… This led to spatial disorientation of the pilot resulting in Controlled Flight into Terrain.”
IAF said that based on its findings, the Court of Inquiry has made certain recommendations that are being reviewed.
It may be mentioned, the Mi-17V5 helicopter carrying Gen Rawat, his wife, Madhulika Rawat, and 12 other armed forces personnel crashed on December 8 last year while it was on its way to the Defence Staff Services Colleges in Wellington, Tamil Nadu.
The crash killed Gen Rawat, his wife, and 11 others. Even though Group Captain Varun Singh, a passenger on the chopper survived the crash, he died of severe burn injuries a few days later.