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Gen Rawat copter crash: Probe committee rules out foul play, says weather change disoriented pilot

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The tri-services committee that was probing the fatal helicopter crash which killed India’s top military chief General Bipin Rawat and his wife, apart from 11 other military personnel, has ruled out sabotage or technical failure as the cause of the accident.

The probe committee, which was led by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, said that the crash was caused “due to unexpected change in weather that led to the disorientation of the pilot”.

“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,” the IAF said in a statement.

Also read | Bipin Rawat, his wife among 13 killed in helicopter crash

“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 (CFIT),” it added.

Based on its findings, the Court of Inquiry has made certain recommendations which are being reviewed, the IAF said.

Also read | Gen Bipin Rawat biography: India’s first Chief of Defence Staff led a life dedicated to the nation

CFIT occurs when an airworthy aircraft under the complete control of the pilot is inadvertently flown into terrain, water, or any other obstacle.

The pilots are generally unaware of the danger until it is too late.

On December 8 around noon, a Russian-built Mi-17V5 copter carrying Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Rawat, his wife Madhulika and his military attache, Brig LS Lidder among others crashed near Wellington area in Conoor hill station, Tamil Nadu state.



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