15th January 2022 – The Decembr 8 chopper crash, which led to the demise of the first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat , his wife and 12 others, took place due to Spatial Disorientation of the pilot.
Air Marshal Manvendra Singh head of the tri sevice court of inquiry (COI), in his statement has ruled out “mechanical failure, negligence or sabotage as the cause of the accident.
The preliminary findings after questioning all the available witnesses and analyzing the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, collectively known as the Black Box has confirmed that the probable cause of the accident was Spatial Disorientation of the pilot, which resulted in his inability to determine the altitude and speed of the chopper.
The statement read, “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 (CFIT). Based on its readings the CoI has made certain recommendations which are being reviewed.”
The accident which takes place when a pilot loses awareness of the state of the flight, and unintentionally hits an obstacle despite being in full control of the aircraft is called as CFIT.
The chopper crash occured when the CDS chief was on his way to speak at the Defence Staff Services College in Wellington.
The crash videos taken by the locals showed the helicopter flying into the cloud cover before it crashed.
Former armed forces officers have maintained that the Russian made Mi-17V5 is reliable and safe, and it crashed just seven minutes before it was supposed to land. They further commented that the safety of the aircraft cannot be questioned in such situations.
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