Border Security Force chief DK Pathak said on Tuesday a probe will look into the “speculation” that the pilot of an aircraft that crashed near the Delhi airport had reported a technical snag before taking off, but the ground staff cleared the plane.
The BSF’s court of inquiry into the crash will run simultaneously with a probe ordered by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
“Let me tell you the word of the pilot is always final. I cannot confirm or deny anything. Let the probes into the crash get completed. The speculation as to whether the pilot detected a technical snag before taking off or whether the engineers came and told him all is well with the aircraft, all these aspects will be part of the probe. But the decision to fly or not is always of the pilot,” said Pathak.
Earlier reports had said the pilot noticed a problem immediately after taking off for Ranchi and tried to land the aircraft.
When asked whether pilot Bhagwati Prasad Bhatt tried to avoid populated areas while turning back after taking off, Pathak said there is little scope of maneuverability while take-off or landing. “At the moment, it is all conjecture. Only a detailed probe into the crash will clear all these aspects,” he said.
Nine BSF troopers and a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) co-pilot were killed when the chartered plane flying to Ranchi crashed on Tuesday.
Pathak announced a compensation of Rs 15 lakh for the families of each deceased.
Witnesses said the aircraft appeared to be unstable as it crossed the boundary wall of the Indira Gandhi International Airport -- which also has an area reserved for the military.
A BSF official said the VT-BSA (Bombay Singapore Alfa) Superking B-200 aircraft took off from Palam Airport at 9.40am.