Crashed plane was airworthy, was flying well: BSF
The Border Security Force (BSF) said its crashed Superking aircraft that killed 10 of its highly experienced personnel was completely “airworthy” and was flying “very well” as it refuted allegations about any possible defect in the ill-fated plane.
“This aircraft was 20-years-old and in the aviation (domain) an aircraft has life till 40-45 years. In the aviation (domain), such a plane is not considered old as required parts are changed from time to time...like engines are overhauled. A major overhauling of this aircraft’s engines was done at the Beachcraft factory in Canada about six months back. Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF director general DK Pathak told reporters.
“There was no problem in the aircraft and it was completely airworthy. I would like to add that till the time an aircraft is airworthy, there is no problem in flying it,” he said.
He was speaking after paying the ceremonial last tributes and placing of wreaths on the mortal remains of the ten personnel who were killed in the crash on Tuesday, at the Safdarjung airport.
The event was also attended by home minister Rajnath Singh and ministers of state for home Kiren Rijiju and Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary.
He said the main probe into the crash is being done by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and that it would be “premature” to speculate on the possible reasons for the air mishap.
The BSF chief said the plane B-200, registered as VT-BSA, was flying about 3-4 days in a week.
“As I said, this aircraft has been flying very well...it had been flying three to four days in a week and there was absolutely no problem. Whenever any kind of a snag is reported, it is promptly attended to and aircraft is not made airborne until it is certified by the technicians that it is worthy to fly,” he said.
The plane, he said, was carrying the stipulated load on Tuesday and refuted reports that the crash had something to do with excess weight as a few personnel were asked to board it at the last moment. The plane had a capacity to carry 11 passengers, he said.
“Even if there is a last moment change in the manifest (travelling passenger’s list) it doesn’t matter because it was carrying the prescribed and authorised load. So, there was no excess load. There was nothing of that sort...even if numbers were increased, it is immaterial. It (B-200) was carrying its required capacity,” he said.