March 24, 2023

Foggy weather may’ve led to disorientation of pilots in Bipin Rawat copter | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The tri-service inquiry into the Mi-17 V5 helicopter crash that killed Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others has now been virtually finalised, with the “disorientation of pilots due to foggy weather” remaining one of the main reasons for the accident near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on December 8.
The inquiry, headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, has apparently ruled out any major structural failure or technical snag in the twin-engine Mi-17 V5 chopper that crashed. “Two-three elements are being re-checked before the inquiry report is formally submitted next week,” said a source on Saturday.
The ill-fated Mi-17 V5, which had taken off from the Sulur airbase with Gen Rawat, his wife Madhulika, military advisor Brigadier L S Lidder and others, had crashed just seven minutes before its scheduled landing at the Wellington helipad.
In technical terms, an accident that takes place when the pilot gets disorientated or “loses situational awareness” and unintentionally hits the ground, a mountain, tree, water body or any other obstacle despite being in full control of his helicopter or aircraft is called “controlled flight into terrain (C-FIT)”.
“A C-FIT crash usually takes place in bad weather or in the landing phase of a flight when the pilot cannot recover his helicopter/aircraft in time to avoid the collision,” an official said.
TOI had earlier reported that the combination of bad weather and the hilly terrain in the Nilgiri Hills was probably the main reason behind the Mi-17 V5 crash on December 8.

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