NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force (IAF) Chopper which crashed with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others on board was due to the helicopter’s entry into clouds due to unexpected change in weather conditions in the valley which eventually led to the “Controlled Flight into Terrain”.
The Indian Air Force in a statement on Friday said, “The accident was a result of entry into clouds due to unexpected change in weather conditions in the valley. This led to spatial disorientation of the pilot resulting in Controlled Flight into Terrain.”
As reported by TNIE earlier, now the Court of Inquiry has officially “ruled out mechanical failure, sabotage or negligence as a cause of the accident.”
The Tri-Services Court of Inquiry into the Mi-17 V5 accident on 08 Dec 21 has submitted its preliminary findings, said the IAF. The Inquiry was led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh and was supported by a Commodore and Brigadier of Navy and Army respectively.
The inquiry team analysed the Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder besides questioning all available witnesses to determine the most probable cause of the accident.
Based on its findings, the Court of Inquiry has made certain recommendations that are being reviewed.
The TNIE had already reported on January 5 that bad weather leading to a phenomenon called Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) is believed to have been identified as the prime cause of the helicopter crash in Coonoor in which CDS General Bipin Rawat and 13 others died.
On January 1, the report was forwarded for legal vetting.
The CFIT is explained to be a phenomenon when an aircraft under control is piloted into the ground, water or other terrain largely due to bad weather or pilot error. It generally takes place in bad weather conditions or when a flight is landing.
According to the IATA (International Air Transport Association), CFIT refers to accidents in which there was a collision with terrain, water, or obstacle, without indication of loss of control of the aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration of the US government described CFIT as an unintentional collision with terrain (the ground, a body of water, or an obstacle) while an aircraft is under positive control.