New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said 62 percent of military chopper accidents in the country since 1986 has taken place due to "human error", trashing claims by a group of army officers' wives seeking replacement of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
Acknowledging that Cheetah and Cheetak helicopters are about "30-35" years-old, he said they have not outlived their life.
"I assure you, including the army officers' wives, no helicopter, unless it is in perfect condition to fly, will take off," he said.
Parrikar said efforts are on to ensure better spare management and serviceability.
"There have been 93 accidents which have taken place since 1986. 62 percent are due to human error and only 22 percent are due to technical error. The rest are under investigation or reasons are not known," the Minister said.
Citing figures, he maintained that the number of accidents has actually reduced.
"It has actually come down from 1.5 to .39 in the current five years per 10,000 flying hours," he said.
Meenal Wagh-Bhosale, wife of a serving Major in the army, had met Parrikar on Wednesday and handed over a petition urging him to stop the use of "outdated" Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
Meenal, who represented a group of 18 women, wanted new and modern helicopters to avoid crashes and save valuable lives of pilots and other personnel.