Pilot error led to YSR chopper crash: Probe report

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Foul play behind YSR death ruled out
Hyderabad, Jan 21: The committee of inquiry, which probed into the Sep 2009 chopper crash that killed the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajashekara Reddy, has concluded that pilot error led to the accident.

Ruling out foul play, the probe committee established that the accident probably occurred because of loss of control at high speed and two other factors that would point to pilot error.

A detailed probe report put together by the four-member committee, headed by RK Tyagi, MD of Pawan Hans Helicopters, was submitted to the government on Wednesday, Jan 20.

“The accident occurred due to loss of control resulting in uncontrolled descent in the terrain at a very high rate of descent due to entry into severe down draught," the statement by civil aviation ministry said.

Besides this, the pilots who identified a snag wasted the vital six minutes before the crash searching for the check-list from the flight manual.

"This distracted their attention from the prevailing poor visibility weather conditions, leading into the loss of situational awareness," the report said.

The Bell 430 helicopter carrying the CM YSR, his Principal Secretary Subramanyam, chief security officer ASC Wesley, pilot group captain SK Bhatia and co pilot MS Reddy crashed into a hill in Nallamala forest at a high speed, killing all of them on the spot.

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