The investigation into the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu that killed the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others is nearly complete and the final report is expected to be submitted to the air force chief this month.
There has been no official statement from either the air force or the government on the findings of the report, but sources have said that the crash could have been caused because of bad weather and poor visibility, called Controlled Flight into Terrain (CIFT).
CIFT is one of the main causes of aircraft crashes globally.
The tri-services court of inquiry is headed by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, who is the IAF’s senior-most helicopter pilot.
The court of inquiry was commissioned by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari. Before submission, the findings will be legally vetted to ensure that all protocols were followed in the probe.
Rawat’s wife and a dozen military personnel also died in the crash on December 8, near Coonoor. The general was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, to address the faculty and student officers of the staff course when the mishap happened in the Katteri-Nanchappanchathram area.