2015 Bombay High helicopter crash: Pilots were flying critically low, probe finds
The Pawan Hans helicopter was on a training sortie on the evening of November 4, 2015.Updated: Aug 03, 2017, 01:28 IST
Two years after a helicopter crash near the Bombay High offshore oil field killed two pilots, an inquiry by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) found that the chopper was flying at a critically low height, without the pilots realising it.
The Pawan Hans helicopter was on a training sortie on the evening of November 4, 2015. Aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had asked AAIB to conduct an inquiry.
The inquiry report, which was made public on Wednesday, said that the main pilot was flying low and that the other did not realise it. After taking off, the Rontappmeyer (RYTYR) helicopter may have faced difficulties as the moon was waning, the report said.
The report mentioned that the instructor, Captain E Samuel, wasn’t disoriented and was aware of the low height of the helicopter. He alerted Captain TK Guha a little late, but even after realising that Guha wasn’t able to manage the situation, Samuel did not take control of the helicopter.
AAIB recommended that ONGC, which owns Bombay High along with the helicopter operators, identify helidecks from where night flying can take place.
AAIB also said that Pawan Hans pilots need to rest sufficiently before flying. Guha was flying during the night after a gap of almost a year, read the report.