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Rajnath receives report on IAF chopper crash

The IAF chief had earlier said that VVIP protocols for flying will be reviewed once the probe has been completed.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Marshal V N Chaudhari is learnt to have presented a detailed report to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the findings of the probe into the 8 December chopper crash in which Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat and 13 others were killed.

The tri-service court of inquiry was headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh and included personnel from the IAF, Army and the Navy.

The inquiry team is understood to have suggested that pilots were following a railway line while flying towards the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington when a thick cloud cover emerged. The pilot may have got disoriented due to low visibility, leading to a collision and the subsequent crash. A technical fault in the helicopter or sabotage has been ruled out.

The probe team has suggested a relook at the standard operating procedures for flying VVIPs. The team examined all likely scenarios for the crash, including possible human error.

The IAF chief had earlier said that VVIP protocols for flying will be reviewed once the probe has been completed.

Gen Rawat, his wife and twelve other armed forces personnel were on board the Mi-series chopper when it crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu on 8 December. Gen Rawat was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College to participate in an event at which he was scheduled to deliver a lecture.

Air Marshal Singh, currently heading the Bengaluru-headquartered Training Command of the IAF, is known to be one of the best air crash investigators in the country.