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“20-Minute Flight, Difficult To Determine What Went Wrong”: Former Air Chief

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The ex Air Force chief mentioned the chopper’s flight knowledge recorder “will give an idea” on what went fallacious

New Delhi:

The deadly crash of a Mi-17V-5 helicopter by which Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his spouse and 11 others died, has perplexed many former military officers who vouch for the reliability of the plane. “The flight time from Sulur to Wellington is only 20 to 25 minutes. What could have gone wrong in such a short flight duration is very difficult to determine,” Air Chief Marshal Fali H Major, former chief of the Indian Air Force who inducted this chopper, informed NDTV.  

The peak of the helipad at Wellington was additionally not a lot, round 5,000 toes, he mentioned, mentioning that underneath the circumstances, touchdown shouldn’t have been an issue.

General Rawat was on option to Tamil Nadu’s Wellington to go to the Defence Staff Academy when the chopper crashed within the Nilgiris, round 10 km from the closest street. Of the 14 individuals on board — 9 passengers and 5 crew members — just one survived.  

Group Captain Varun Singh, the only real survivor of the crash, is combating for all times on the army hospital in Wellington.

Former officers of the military say the Mi-17V-5 helicopters are extraordinarily dependable workhorses of the Air Force.  

This is the newest variant of the Russian-made Mi17 fleet of choppers with higher avionics and India has a big fleet of those, bought and inducted between 2008 and 2018.  

Calling them “excellent” and “safe”, former military officers and defence consultants say they’ve been used for lots of of hours in difficult situations and locations, just like the Siachen glacier. Their reliability and security additionally made them the popular transport for VIPs, together with the President and the Prime Minister.

Asked how we will know what went fallacious, the previous Air Force chief mentioned the chopper has a voice recorder and a flight knowledge recorder, “which will give us an idea”.

The Indian Air Force has already ordered an inquiry into the crash.

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