The senior Indian Air Force helicopter pilot, Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, who is the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command, will lead the investigation, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament. The officer was previously Director General for Inspection and Aviation Safety and is uniquely qualified for the investigation.
A video of the helicopter’s final moments and eyewitness accounts suggest that the Mi 17V5 fell into a thicket of trees amid thick fog. There is no preliminary information on a technical catch. The helicopter may have missed a waypoint to the Wellington Gymkhana helipad. Sources told ET that first impression was that it was a “controlled off-road flight,” a common cause of air accidents, especially helicopters that lack navigational aids to warn of impending dangers such as approaching terrain.
“General Bipin Rawat was on a scheduled visit to Defense Services Staff College in Wellington to interact with the student officers. The Air Force helicopter Mi 17V5 took off from Sulur Air Base at 11:48 am yesterday (Wednesday) and was due to land. ” in Wellington until 12.15 p.m. Air traffic control at Sulur Air Base lost contact with the helicopter at around 12:08 p.m.
The lack of a crew distress signal and a video showing the helicopter moving in thick fog just before a loud impact will be important clues to the investigation team. The wreck of the helicopter was found in a thicket of trees near a tea plantation.
The condition of the survivor of the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh, the senior staff of Defense Services Staff College in Wellington, is still grave. The officer is currently life support. He was admitted to the Bengaluru Military Hospital, where medical specialists treated him for severe burns.
In a statement in parliament, Rajanth Singh said that Sulur lost contact with the helicopter seven minutes before it was scheduled to land in Wellington. “General Bipin Rawat was on a scheduled visit to Defense Services Staff College in Wellington to interact with the student officers. The Air Force Mi 17V5 helicopter took off from Sulur Air Base at 11:48 am yesterday and was scheduled to land in Wellington 12 : 3 pm Air traffic control at Sulur Air Base lost contact with the helicopter around 12:08 pm, “said Singh.
“Pop culture scholar. Subtly charming beer specialist. Reader. Student. Devoted music advocate.”