‘Pilot error led to YSR chopper crash’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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‘Pilot error led to YSR chopper crash’

The helicopter crash that killed Andhra Chief Minister YSR Reddy in September was caused by distracted pilots — going through flight manual — losing control over the Bell-430 machine, reports HT Correspondent.

delhi Updated: Jan 21, 2010 00:42 IST
HT Correspondent

The helicopter crash that killed Andhra chief minister Y.S.R. Reddy in September was caused by distracted pilots — going through flight manual — losing control over the Bell-430 machine.

The four-member committee probing the cause of the September 2 accident that also killed four other people has ruled out foul play.

Pilots may have erred in judgement on evidence thrown up by in-flight instruments, hinted the panel led by R.K Tyagi, chairman and managing director of state-run Pawan Hans Helicopters.

“The crew noticed a snag and was engrossed for vital six minutes before the impact in searching for the relevant checklist from the flight manual. This distracted their attention… leading into the loss of situational awareness,” the report, submitted on Wednesday, said.

The pilots should have relied more on visual flying rather than relying on onboard instruments, said a government official, who didn’t wish to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media. They should have returned, as the weather was unfit for flying.

“The chopper was caught in a vortex of cloud formation, which behaves like a whirlwind that can either suck or throw-out an object at very high speeds,” the official said.

The state-owned twin engine, seven-seater helicopter Reddy was flying in disappeared over the Nallamala forests in heavy rain at 9.35 am on September 2, an hour after taking off from Hyderabad on way to Chittoor.

The mangled remains of the chopper were found on Rudrakonda hill, 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool, 24 hours after it went missing.