New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others have died in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
The Chief of Defence Staff was on his way to Wellington on board the ill-fated Indian Air Force helicopter, an Mi-17V5.
“An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” the IAF tweeted.
Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (Retd), who has been Experimental Test Pilot, Air Force examiner, and an UN soldier, said Mi-17V5 helicopter is the workhorse of Indian Air Force. It has a very good safety record. It’s not that accidents don’t happen – they happen… Unfortunately we had the CDS on board the ill-fated flight.
Commenting on news reports, Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur, the retired ace chopper pilot of IAF, said It is too early to comment or speculate whether it was fog or visibility that led to the crash. Further, he said, “I’m sure a very high powered court of inquiry will be constituted”.
Mi-17V5 helicopter is part of the Air Headquarters’ Communication Squadron. It is a twin engine chopper with glass cockpit and is a modern machine. We have a whole medium lift helicopter fleet of Mi-17V5. It is also used for flying the President and the Prime Minister and has a very good safety record in the Indian Air Force, said the retired Air Vice Marshal.
Newsroom24x7 joins the nation in paying tributes to those who lost their life in today’s chopper crash:
Gen Bipin Rawat
Mrs Madhulika Rawat
Brig LS Lidder
Lt Col H Singh
Wg Cdr PS Chauhan
Sqn Ldr K Singh
JWO Pradeep A
Nk Gursewak Singh
L/Nk S Teja
Their untimely demise is an irreparable loss