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Raipur chopper crash: ‘Tail rotor snag made chopper uncontrollable; pilots very experienced’ | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Chhattisgarh government’s Augusta 109 that crashed at Raipur Airport on Thursday night, killing both its pilots, had reportedly suffered a tail rotor snag due to which it “fell like a rock, straight down” from a significant height. Officials investigating the crash say both the pilots — Captains Gopal Krishna Panda and A P Shrivastava — were highly experienced.
“Captain Shrivastavsa of Himalayaputra Aviation, a type rated examiner, was carrying out night flying check of Captain Panda of Chattisgarh civil aviation department, a type rated instructor. Helicopter had taken off from the airport for test and then the pilots requested return to airport when a tail rotor snag was encountered. Both the pilots were very experienced pilots but due to the tail rotor snag, the helicopter became uncontrollable and crashed,” said officials probing the crash. There were no passengers on board this chopper.
Expressing sorrow at the loss of lives of the two pilots, Union aviation minister J M Scindia Tweeted on Friday: “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Chhattisgarh government are conducting a detailed probe. (translated)”
However, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) — which conducts probes into serious accidents — is currently not headed by a technical person and an Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS) officer is its DG.
Similarly, the DGCA does not at the moment have a deputy DG (DDG) of air safety. The DDG and AAIB technical head coordinate for probes into serious accidents.

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