Rajnath Singh to be briefed on CDS chopper helicopter crash

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) will brief Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday about the reasons for the Mi-17V5 chopper crash on December 8, in which the late Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 12 other military officials were traveling.

According to sources, a tri-services inquiry team led by an Indian Air Force commander will submit a detailed presentation to Rajnath Singh. A senior Indian Navy chopper pilot and an Army official were part of the investigation team into the chopper crash.

Recommendations have been made to modify the standard operating procedures for operating choppers carrying senior defence officers. The tri-services inquiry committee has forwarded the suggestion. 

Although no official word on the investigation’s conclusions has been released, sources say the Mi-17v5 helicopter carrying General Rawat and others met abrupt severe weather, which could have caused it to collide with a surface before landing in a forest near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Air Marshal Manvendra Singh briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday. Moreover, the report was submitted to Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari earlier. 

The recommendations that have been put forward guided that the crew carrying the passengers should be a mix of master green and other category pilots. The ‘Master green’ category is awarded to the best pilots in the three forces’ transport aircraft and helicopter fleets, as they are the only ones capable of landing or taking off in low visibility.

A Mi-17V5 crash near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, killed General Rawat and 13 people. According to a PTI report citing sources, the incident was not caused by a technical flaw in the IAF’s Mi-17V5 chopper. However, no formal confirmation has been given.

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