Air Force will brief Defense Minister at 11 am

New Delhi: Defense Minister Rajnath Singh is to be briefed by Air Force officials about the report of the helicopter crash of Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat at 11 am.

A tri-services probe was ordered into the December 8 helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri Hills in which General Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 other armed forces personnel were killed.

The investigative team, along with top Air Force officials, will meet Mr Singh and senior officials of his ministry this morning to present its findings.

Neither the Air Force nor the government have yet commented on the report or its findings, but sources indicated to NDTV last week that reduced visibility due to inclement weather may have contributed to the crash.

There has also been no statement or clarification yet on whether pilot error was the root cause of the accident, or whether there was a violation of the rules for operating under clouds in mountainous areas.

Sources told NDTV that the Court of Inquiry – led by the country’s top helicopter pilot, Air Marshal Manvendra Singh – is of the view that the pilot of the crashed MI-17v5 may have been distracted by bad weather and accidentally landed in the area. would have flown.

This is known as CFIT or controlled flight over terrain.

The sources also said that the investigation ruled out any possibility of technical errors or mechanical defects.

The Russian-made Mi-17V5 helicopter – which several former armed forces officials have told NDTV is extremely reliable and very safe – crashed seven minutes before it was due to land.

In the days following the crash, videos of mobile phones – taken by locals and shared by news agency ANI – surfaced of the helicopter’s final moments; In one clip, a helicopter is shown flying in the mist over the hills of Coonoor and a change in the sound of the helicopter’s engine can be heard.

General Rawat, his wife and all those on board were cremated with full military honors and thousands of people, including governments of major foreign powers, paid tribute to their memories.

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