NEW DELHI: The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of the ill-fated BSF plane was retrieved from the crash site late on Tuesday night for investigation, even as family members of the deceased personnel demanded answers from the government why “old” aircraft was still in use, endangering lives.
The CVR has been sent for investigations, said BSF Director General D K Pathak but maintained that the aircraft was “technically perfect” when it left for Ranchi on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old twin-engine Superking B-200 crashed minutes after it took off, apparently after developing a technical snag, killing all 10 BSF personnel onboard. The pilots were very experienced and had carried VIPs and delegates of the two-day DG/IG conference held recently in Bhuj, Pathak said. The plane, he said, was “under-exploited” as it had flown about just 4,700 hours in the past 20 years. It was inducted in 1995 and had over 2,700 landings with the BSF air wing.
His comments came even as family members of the personnel confronted Home Minister Rajnath Singh with questions like “Why are old aircraft being used and lives of troops put at risk?”
The agitated daughter of Sub-Inspector Rabinder Kumar, who was among the 10 personnel killed in the crash, demanded an answer from Singh and the BSF Director General when they met the families after paying tributes and placing floral wreaths on mortal remains. Singh consoled the young woman and assured the families their grievances would be looked into. He said he would review each and every aspect that they have underlined.
The next of kin of other personnel, who had come to pay their respects to their near and dear ones, at the Border Security Force hangar at Safdarjung airport here had more or less the same grievances and stories to tell.
“My son-in-law told me that the planes in the BSF air wing are getting old and new ones are expected in sometime. I don’t know when these new aircraft will come but he will not be there to see them,” said the father-in-law of co-pilot Rajesh Shivrain, who died in the crash.