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Pawan Hans helicopter’s undamaged black box will give clues on the accident, device to be decoded in France

The investigating officers said the black box, which was found in good condition, will provide clues regarding the exact cause of the crash.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2018 22:47 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Pawan Hans,Pawan Hans helicopter,Helicopter crash
Indian navy units engaged in search and rescue operation after Pawan Hans helicopter crash off Mumbai coast on January 13.(HT File Photo)

The Aircraft Air Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has asked Airbus — the company that manufactures Dauphin helicopters — to aid investigations into the wreckage of Saturday’s Pawan Hans helicopter crash and to decode the black box recovered from the site of the accident.

The team is expected to arrive in a week. The investigating officers said the black box, which was found in good condition, will provide clues regarding the exact cause of the crash.

Officials privy to investigation process said the black box will be decoded by either Airbus or the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA), the French air accident investigation body for civil aviation safety.

“The black box was found intact in the helicopter’s tail. It appears to be undamaged. We are hopeful of being able to ascertain the exact situation prior to the crash, via the cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data recorder,” said an official privy to the investigation.

An expert, who did not wish to be identified, said black boxes are designed in a way that they do not sustain damage during accidents. “This, however, depends on the temperature of the location it was found at and for how long it was in the water,” he said.

Sanjay Kumar, general manager (western region), Pawan Hans, said the AAIB had reached the spot and begun investigations. “It is premature to talk about the cause of the accident. A team of two AAIB officers have collated information and documents related to the crash,” he said.

A team of two officials, the head of safety from Pawan Hans and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) officials continued their investigation at the site of the crash. A report was submitted to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday. “The Coast Guard, ONGC and Pawan Hans held a meeting to discuss the matter,” said a senior Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre official.

First Published: Jan 15, 2018 22:45 IST