New Delhi: The December 8 chopper crash, leading to the death of chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 12 others, has been attributed to “Spatial disorientation” of the Mi-17 V5 pilots following an unexpected change in weather.
The helicopter was descending to land when it ran into sudden clouds which resulted in pilot disorientation, revealed the tri-services Court of Inquiry headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh.
It ruled out “ruled out mechanical failure, sabotage or negligence as a cause of the accident” near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, after analysing the black-box data and questioning all available witnesses.
“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 findings, the CoI has made certain recommendations which are being reviewed,” a statement issued by the Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Friday.
The Court of Inquiry has submitted its preliminary findings, the IAF added.