IAF helicopter with CDS Bipin Rawat on board crashes in Tamil Nadu, 4 dead

"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," said Indian Airforce in the statement.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  8 Dec 2021 8:44 AM GMT
IAF helicopter with CDS Bipin Rawat on board crashes in Tamil Nadu, 4 dead

A Mi-17V-5 Helicopter carrying Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife, and staff crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. Sources confirmed that eleven-person died in the crash.

1. The bodies recovered from the site of the crash have been taken to Military Hospital, Wellington in Tamil Nadu

2. Cabinet meet is underway on the chopper crash, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh briefs PM Modi on the crash.

3. Cabinet briefing at 4 pm by Union Information minister Anurag Thakur

4. CDS Bipin Rawat reportedly has been taken to the hospital. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will brief parliament on the crash of an army chopper.

5. There were 14 persons on board, including the crew: Indian Air Force

6. CDS Bipin Rawat was en route to give a lecture at Defence Service Staff College in Wellington at 2:45 pm.

7. The search and rescue operations launched from nearby bases.

8. The MI 17 V5 chopper took off from Sulur in Coimbatore & was heading to Wellington base and the crash is supposed to have happened midway.

9. Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin is expected to leave for Coonoor at 5 pm today.

10. IAF has initiated an inquiry to ascertain the cause of the accident.



Hyderabad: A Mi-17V-5 Helicopter carrying Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife and staff crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. Sources confirmed that four-person died in the crash.

Cabinet meet is underway on the chopper crash; Defence Minister Rajnath Singh briefs PM Modi on the crash. CDS Bipin Rawat reportedly has been taken to the hospital. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will brief parliament on the crash of an army chopper.

"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," said Indian Airforce in the statement.

There were around 14 people on board which includes CDS, his family members, and his staff were on the board.

The search and rescue operations launched from nearby bases. The local military officers have reached the location and were told that locals have taken two bodies with 80 per cent burns to a local hospital. Few bodies can be seen downhill in the area of the accident. Efforts are on to retrieve the bodies and check identities.

KS Nair, Defence Historian told NewsMeter, "It is a Mi-17, most widely used by the Armed forces and other countries, these are used in the UN relief operations. It is a very robust and generally reliable helicopter. It is a direct descendant of the Mi-8-Helicopter design that has been around for a very long time. It is very hard to pinpoint that it may have gone wrong. Well, the Nilgiris are a difficult terrain to fly low level. Many years ago there were crashes reported amidst the mountains. However, the terrain is unlike the Himalayas. The Nilgiris have certain unpredictable winds and air currents but not beyond the height that a Mi-17 V-5 can fly, "

Mi-17V-5 Helicopter- The Mi-17V5 is the direct descendant of the domestic designation Mi8MTV. It is a military transport variant in the Mi-8/7 family of helicopters. It is produced by Kazan Helicopter, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters.

Speaking to NewsMeter Air Vice Marshal V Sagar Bharati (Rtd) said, " - "It is too early to speculate what must have gone wrong. Broadly, There are two many factors- bad weather conditions or major technical errors. Generally the Mi-17 V5 are robust aircrafts used in combat and rescue operations. They are used in high altitude regions like the Siachen Glacier . Bad weather in the Nilgiri hills would be a reason, making it difficult for the pilot to navigate", said the officer who earlier investigated the chopper crash involving former Chief Minister Y S Raja Shekar Reddy.

Rawat is the country's first Chief of Defence Staff appointed on January 1, 2020. He was appointed the head of the newly created Department of Military Affairs in one of the most significant reorganizations in the Defence Ministry in decades. He had served as the Chief of the Army for three years before taking over as the CDS.

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