IAF chopper crash: Blackbox retrieved; clue for last-minute cockpit conversation
A day after chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others were killed after an IAF chopper crashed near the Katteri-Nanchappanchathram area in Coonoor, officials launched a search for the flight recorder, popularly known as the black box, on Thursday morning. Reports said after the search area was expanded from 300 metres to one kilometre from the accident spot, the black box was retrieved. It is not yet known how the chopper crashed minutes before it was scheduled to reach its destination in Wellington.
The black box would provide crucial data on the chain of events of exactly what happened before the flight crashed and went up in flames. The black box can reveal data about the flight's final situation and the last-minute conversation at the cockpit.
On Thursday morning, IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari visited the site of the crash along with state DGP C Sylendra Babu.
Bodies of those who died in Wednesday's crash have been brought to Madras Regimental Centre from Military Hospital. The mortal remains of Bipin Rawat and Madhulika Rawat are likely to reach Delhi by Thursday evening.
A video possibly captured minutes before the chopper crashed has gone viral on social media. News agency ANI shared the video, which has been captured by the local people. The authenticity of the video has not been verified.
General Rawat, India's first CDS, was on a visit to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course when his chopper crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. General Rawat was appointed as India's first Chief of Defense Staff on December 31, 2019. He previously served as Chief of the Army Staff from January 2017 to December 2019. He was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978. A veteran of counterinsurgency warfare, CDS Rawat served in the most difficult terrains including Northern and Eastern commands.