HYDERABAD: AIR Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said on Saturday that the court of inquiry constituted comprising a tri-services inquiry team led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh was doing a fair and thorough investigation to determine what had led to the helicopter crash which killed Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife and 12 armed forces personnel on December 8.
Talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal near Hyderabad on Saturday, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari, while replying to questions raised by journalists on the status of the investigation, stated that the findings of the inquiry could take a few more weeks to come out and he would not preempt any of the findings by commenting on it.
He, however, assured that every piece of evidence including the flight data recorder, cockpit recorder and other material evidence were collected and the statements of all possible witnesses were being recorded.
VVIPs face drone threat
The IAF chief said there was a new threat to VVIPs from drones and it was a big challenge to guard against them. “However, we are procuring a large number of anti-drone systems from indigenous sources and giving a lot of encouragement to startups and small players to come up with anti-drone solutions,” he said
Inquiry to consider every angle: Air Chief Marshal
“I would not like to preempt any of the findings of the court of inquiry, because it’s a fair and thorough process. The mandate given to him (Air Marshal Manavendra Singh) is to investigate every single angle and look into every single aspect of what could have gone wrong and come out with the suitable recommendations and findings,” Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said.
Earlier on Saturday, he conferred the ‘President’s Commission’ on the graduating Flight Cadets who successfully completed their professional training. The graduating officers included 28 women, who joined the growing number of women officers in the IAF.
Addressing the passing out cadets, the Chief of the Air Staff said, “The IAF is on the cusp of transformation into a highly potent Air Force with new inductions like Rafale, Apache, Chinook and a wide variety of SAGW (surface to air guided weapons) systems. Today, as you graduate and move into an environment that is challenging and technology intensive, the IAF looks upon young and dynamic officers like you to carry forward the rich legacy of professional attitude, aptitude and temperament shown by your predecessors.”