Fewer chopper accidents, deaths: Defence minister

The numbers of defence helicopter accidents and deaths have come down, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday.

IANS| Last Updated: Mar 03, 2015, 21:42 PM IST

New Delhi: The numbers of defence helicopter accidents and deaths have come down, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday.

The minister told the Rajya Sabha that most accidents happened due to human error and bad weather.

Giving figures for 24 years, the minister said the number of accidents between 1986-91 was 22, killing 19. Between 1991-96, there were 10 accidents and six deaths; during 1996-2001, 13 accidents claimed 14 lives; in 2001-06, 10 accidents and five deaths, while during 2006-11 there have been 11 accidents and 14 deaths.

"In past four years there have been seven accidents and 10 deaths," said Parrikar.

The minister said comparing the number of accidents to flying hours, the ratio has come down.

"Up to 2010-11, the number of accidents is 21 and number of flying hours 4,82,567 making it 0.44 accidents per 10,000 flying hours. In the last four year data indicate 0.37 accidents per 10,000 flying hour," the minister said.

"We analysed data of 73 accidents over last 24 years. We found 36 percent were due to human error of air crew, 3 percent due to human error of ground crew, and 23 percent due to weather," Parrikar said.

"Technical defect of the air frame and technical defect of aero engine together make up 23 percent... operation hazard is four percent, and causes which could not be identified are three percent while eight percent are under investigation," he said.

So accidents due to human error amount to 62 percent, he added..

"Flying coffin is a good word, but I don`t think it is appropriate for this," the minister added.